Friday, December 11, 2015

Cookies Buffet

Okay, this is a party, let's have fun!
December 9th we celebrated a "Cookies Buffet" final gathering at the English Zone with the students we have been meeting with weekly providing them with a chance to practice English with an American accent.  It was hard to get a real accurate estimate but there were about 30 students and four teachers -- Helena and Joe joined in the fun.  We sang songs together, were entertained by students singing and played charades as well as munching on cookies and other Vietnamese snack foods .
Joe, Helena and students.

Our co-workers, volunteer instructors in Labor Relations and Labor Unions at TDT, Helena Worthen and Joe Barry chatting with students at the end of the semester Cookie Bash.
Waiting for our Karaoke music to start up and chattering.

One, two, three, digital memories!
We had hoped that it would be a little cool and breezy by our start time of 5:30pm but no such luck. Instead it was about 90 some degrees with 50% humidity but we got through it.  Most everyone had a wonderful time although when we sang "This Land is Your Land"  Karaoke style, it was not complete with the radical words of Woody Guthrie. When you download music from online sources you may not get everything you want but you get what you get.

When we taught USA political songs like "This Land" in the English Zone, it was with the radical lyric.  We also discussed with the students explanations of the depression times or political struggles in the US when Woody Guthrie and other artists and singers spoke out to help organize for depression relief, an end to racism and in support of  union organizing.   How great to get to use music to talk about USA politics in the 30s and again in the Civil Rights movement in the 60s and 70s and now!  The stickers and buttons from #BlackLivesMatter and other current struggles were also real popular with students.


y special moment of the evening occurred when the students performed a song that is a big favorite here.  It reminds one of a folk song and brings a warm, wonderful feeling as we instructors appreciate the welcome we have received here.  The song is HELLO VIETNAM or Banjour Vietnam.  Here are the lyrics of the version that they sang to us. Attached is a video of the students performance it may take a while to load when you hit play.

The most popular song version is sung by Pham Quynh Anh, an overseas Vietnamese born in Belgium who values her parents' homeland and life and wants to share Vietnam. Hello Vietnam was written by Marc Lavoine and Yvan Coriat.

Hello VN
Tell me all about this name, that is difficult to say,
It was given me the day I was born.
Want to know about the stories of the empire of old.
My eyes say more of me than what you dare say.

All I know of you is all the sights of war.
A film by Coppola, the helicopter's roar.

One day I'll touch your soil.
One day I'll finally know your soul.
One day I'll come to  you.
To say hello ... Vietnam.

Tell me all about my colour, my hair and my little feet
That have carried me every mile of the way.
Want to see your house, your streets.  Show me all I do not know.
Wooden sampans, floating markets, light of gold.

All I know of you is the sights of war.
A film by Coppola, the helicopter's roar.

One day I'll walk your soil.
One day I'll finally know my soul.
One day I'll come to you. To say hello ... Vietnam.


And Buddha's made of stone watch over me
My dreams they lead me through the fields of rice
In prayer, in the light ... I see my kin
I touch my tree, my roots, my begin


One day I'll touch your soil.
One day I'll finally know my soul.
One day I'll come to you.
To say hello ... Vietnam.


One day I'll walk your soil
One day I'll finally know my soul
One day I'll come to you
To say hello ... Vietnam.

The End.

Hope you loved it as much as we did.  Vietnam has come to you to say hello! Come here anytime, it is a wonderful land to visit.

Hearts and Friends.
After the songs we played Leanna's version of charades and there were some really quick and accurate guesses for the winners.  Each contestant had to draw a word and then they had to act out the word.  Most of the players elicited the right or correct response within 30 seconds or even though the game was in English. The fun evening continued with lots of photographs, compliments, and just good times for couple of hours.  Then we all cleaned up and the students headed back home or to their dorm rooms to study.  We returned to our room already missing these incredible Vietnamese students.

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