So I have been living in Hanoi for now two months and this is my first blog post since I left... Sorry for such delayed replies to your questions.. It is hectic and I am literally living a double life ( a real body here and a virtual one thru the computer with my family and Kindling) but I am loving it all and am pretty stoked that somehow this has happened.
My house: I live with 3 other AYAD's (Australian youth Ambassadors for Development) - 2 Agricultural Scientists and 1 Finance consultant.... and it's awesome. We found a lovely place in inner city that is private a quiet and clean! aswell as being well situated to a plethora of street food and fun. They are a great mix and I feel a bit lucky to have fallen in with such an
My job: I work about 10kms south of the centre in a small company that rents from a really big factory. Our company 'Blue Sphere' is a social enterprise. That means they operate for the prime goal of improving the financial and social status of their employes which in our case are deaf people.
I have been learning both Vietnamese sign and vietnamese...sign being the most easy and fun. For me this job is a bit of a dream - I am designing for the organisation to improve their offerings but also training and capacity building with their staff. The team (7 in all) is so fun and interested to learn anything at all. They are super loyal and I was craving for so long to work more within a team.. now I am part of of one and I am stoked.
My life: It's a bit expat-ty... So far I am yet to make a firm Vietnamese friend - the language barrier makes them quite shy to attempt or return communication... so I end up hanging with whiteys alot... which is awesome too - Hanoi is the hub for all the International NGO's and Arts councils so there is a pretty unique group of people here. A very concentrated bunch of interesting inspired people living in one city. Lots of arts and music - too much to see actually - and partys... the alcohol here is ridiculously cheap... but what strikes me most is that everyone has really cool jobs, or are working on great projects, for great organisations, making a real difference. Apart from the Embassy workers we are all here in an aid capacity, on a volunteers living allowance so in a way everyone is kinda equal. Its strange and fantastic all at once.
I have been riding a motorbike - getting pretty fluid in the crazy traffic. It took a while and a lot of adrenaline to get there but I am finally feeling pretty comfortable. In a way I can't imagine going back to straight laced traffic conditions, or living conditions, or eating conditions.
Living on the edge is making me smile alot.