As I settle back at home (and deal with my jetlag), reflecting back on my seven months in Vietnam, it seems like my time there went by very quickly. I achieved one of my two goals, to learn to read and write in Vietnamese. I would not say I "fluently" read and write. I am definitely still stumbling and I do not have a sufficient vocabulary to understand the prose-y way Vietnamese write. At least now I have an idea how things are pronounced when I read. I did not achieve my second goal of volunteering. It seems more difficult when you do not sign up for a formal volunteer placement.
I am very happy to have had the experience to live in Vietnam. I don't think travelling through for a few weeks would have had the same impact. I got to interact with locals on a daily basis and not just as a tourist. I enjoyed seeing the different vendors every day. They were all so friendly and wished me well when I got home. They also all asked me when I would come back. Maybe in the next thirty years (since it took me that long for my first visit!)?
As I finish up with this blog, I remember some post ideas that I never ended up writing. One was the "What If?" post, as in "What if my parents never left Vietnam?". Well, the obvious answer is, I wouldn't be Canadian and I would not have had as many opportunities as I have. Would I still have become an engineer? Who knows? Would I own my own house? Probably not. Would I have been worst off? I think both worlds has its advantages and disadvantages but I do realize Viet Kieu's are lucky. Our parents sacrificed a lot for us to have a better life.
One last note, I have really enjoyed writing this blog and writing in general. I've also had the chance to make good friends (like Miss Gastronomer) and to discover the world of blogging. I want to continue blogging so I've decided to start a new blog, based at home (probably no more travels for a while, sigh). I think it will be mainly about food with a side of house projects. Please check it out: Miss.Adventure at Home.