Montag, 27. August 2007


Dear friends, dear family

I have arrived happily and safely in Germany. The last 2,5 months were a great experience and I'm glad that I could share some of my impressions with you on this blog. Thank you so much for Your interest - it was a lot of fun putting the stuff online knowing, that there were people out there actually interested in reading it. (or at least pretending to) Thank You!

Maybe I'll publish a little review of my trip in the next time. Check back in 2 weeks to find if I managed :)

All the best to you, so long and thanks for all the fish -
Yours David

Deutsche Version:

Liebe Freunde und Familie,

ich bin glücklich und gesund wieder in Deutschland angekommen. Ich habe 2,5 Monate tolle Monate hinter mir und ich bin froh, dass ich ein paar Eindrücke mit Euch teilen konnte. Ich möchte hiermit Euch allen für Euer Interesse danken. Es hat viel Spaß gemacht, die Infos reinzustellen, weil ich wusste da waren wirklich Leute da draußen, die es interessiert hat ;) Dankeschön!

Vielleicht stelle ich hier bald einen letzten Reisebericht rein. Checkt den blog dafür nochmal in 2 Wochen.

Ansonsten alles Gute und bis bald
Euer David

Samstag, 11. August 2007


Hi there,

here come now our (Arno's, Steve's Hanh's and my) impressions of Sapa in form of a picture album.
Sapa Picture Gallery

Sapa is a beautiful village in the north of Vietnam, a few Kilometers from the Chinese Border. The climate is refreshingly cool, which we all really appreciated after weeks of heat in Hanoi. Sapa is very hilly, actually having the highest mountain in southeast Asia (over 3400m). There are rivers, waterfalls, ricefields and a rich traditional culture stemming from the 5 ethnic minority groups that live there and still produce many of their beautiful multicolered textiles. (Much to the enjoyment of the local tourist industry).

We went there by train, which took us a whole night in a sleeping wagon. (which produced some rather funny moments and pictures ;) There, we had a tourguide who went with us on a small rocky path down the valley. The first day, after hiking around, we enjoyed cocktails in the afternoon and Apocalypse Now in the Evening. The second day we hiked even more, a few of us (I amongst them) got severely sunburnt, but the day was still marvellous. (Although we had to endure feeling like a tourist, normally pleasing our ego's with the idea that we - as volunteers - are more local and integrated.)

Yea and now I'm back and happy. We just watched Golden Eye ( a pirated Chinese copy in english, good quality though) and had dinner at the Italian place. Still can't believe I'll be leaving soon. Work is going well and some students already organised farewell events. I guess that's all for now.

CU all soon and have a nice day

Dienstag, 31. Juli 2007

Museums, Teaching, the End approaching

Hey folks,

it's the 31st of August and soon I will have to say goodbye to Hanoi and my friends. I can really say that I have got used to living here. Including crazy motorbike rides (which I do myself by now ^^) brilliant food, and even the sometimes unbearable heat. I hope I will see many of my new friends again, in the future. But I'm also looking forward to see my friends and family in Germany again.

Today I finished Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. (yes I know I'm a bit late, but I've only started reading Harry Potter this Winter, when I got the first part from my beloved brother Nico for Christmas ;) ) This book was so exciting. And, seriously, I was afraid Harry wouldn't make it. How could he possibly defend himself against the AVADA KEDAVRA Spell. But he did. And "He who must not be named" had to give in once more. I'm so excited about the next book. :)

Teaching goes on well. I'm getting the grib on how to teach, including repeating stuff endlessly, until students learn it, do fun-stuff from time to time and reviewing the last class. I still get a lot of positive feedback. Still, sometimes I feel that I'm just no
professional phonetics teacher. Which is rather true ;)

I'm also coordinating a workcamp now. I'm responsible for a project in a disabled center, where short term volunteers (2 weeks) join disabled children in producing handicrafts liken textile flowers for sale. Up to now I'm not hearing complaints but I'll see how it goes.

Together with this post I'm sending you two picture galleries. One is about Halong Bay on request of Katjes. The other one is about the Museum of Ethnology, which we visited today. It's easily the most interesting museum I've seen here, with lots of carefully investigated information about the 54 different Ethnic groups living in Vietnam, complete with traditional dresses, 1:1 models of traditional houses and a very interesting account of the "Bao Cap"-Period, which describes the era of communist planned economy between 1975-1986.
Being ridden by the typical problems in production and distribution of goods, this system of
collectives in agriculture and production and coupons for buying goods like rice or vegetables meant scarcity and hardship for most Vietnamese people. It stands in stark contrast to the the level of standard of living that Vietnam has achieved in the years until today, opening to the world markets and recently joining the WTO.

Museum of Ethnology Picture Gallery

Halong Bay Picture Gallery

Here is one more album. It's about our visit to the War Museum. The museum features planes, tanks and weapons from the Vietnamese army and those captured from the Americans. There's also abundant information about the great victories of the glorious (North-)Vietnamese war heroes over the American- and French armies. Please kindly excuse Steve's, Arno's and my playing around with the war-equipment. I guess that's genetic with boys. :)

War Museum Picture Gallery

Samstag, 21. Juli 2007

Halong Bay

hi there,

here comes another update, finally. Last weekend we were in Halong Bay. (see picture) It is considered one of the most beautiful bays in Asia and possibly in the world. It has about 3000 islands, only 300 of which have a name. Although the site is quite touristy, as soon as you're on one of the boats heading towards the bay, it's just beautiful. Wherever you look, huge rocks with trees and plants on them loom out of the water. Fishers on small boats offer you fresh fruits and seafood as you go. We did Kajaking, swam at one of the islands beaches and went into a cave.

Time is flying so quickly. I can't believe I'm here for 5 weeks now. Anyway, work's still nice and it's great being together with my housemates. We watched Die Hard 4.o and Shooter in the Cinema (around 2 Euro per movie). Both are cool action movies. Today we watched the quaterfinals of the Asian Cup, the equivalent to the European Championships in football. In our game, Australia played against Japan, losing 3:4. Was a lot of fun though.

As requested by Nani, I'm also putting proof that I'm still around cute girls. Comments had been voiced that after an overwhelming start in this respect, beautiful Asian females were increasingly replaced by animal intestins and the like. This is by no means describing my reality here and is rather due to my desire to give you a true diversity of impressions. ;) Have a good time and cu soon. David

Sonntag, 8. Juli 2007

Ba Vi

Hi everybody,

today we went to Ba Vi, a beautiful national Park surrounded by mountains. At 05:30 in the morning (things start early here, to avoid the heat)
we started with 3 buses, one for staff and volunteers from SJ Vietnam and 2 buses for young people with disabilities. On the way to Ba Vi, we passed a district at the outskirts of Hanoi, that I hadn't seen before. It's very new and modern, with wide roads, high office- and appartment buildings and hotels. Everywhere are construction sites. This is really a defining characteristic of Hanoi: Construction is everywhere. They build roads, Houses, they transport, buy and sell, bricks, wood, toilets, lambs, food, animals, pipes, and whatnot.

The National Park was amazing. It mainly consisted of a waterfall and a stream of water running down like terasses with large pools where people swim and children play. It's all surrounded by mountains and trees and people come there, bring food and drinks and spend a whole day. This is also what we did. Now I'm feeling a bit tired and I'm sitting here with Stefan and Arno, the guys from the Netherlands, in front of a fan at our laptops. I've also read a bit more of "The quiet American" by Graham Greene. Nice book up to now. Tomorrow I teach English again. That goes well, although I really have to spend time planning the classes so that the students learn something and it's fun at the same time. Not that easy. Last Friday, one of my classes took me out for Karaoke ;) They love rock balads, everyone here knows the Scorpions (Wind of Change) and Vietnamese don't have scruples singing "Jingle Bells" throughout the year. :D

I ate Pigeon (Taube) and Buffalo today. Good stuff. Anyway good night and cu soon. David

Montag, 2. Juli 2007

New Fotos, New Video, New Language

Hello guys. There will be a change in my blog. I've decided to write in english from now. The reason is, that most of the Germans who read the blog understand English, but most of my friends here in Vietnam and at Jacobs don't understand German. I hope this is ok for everybody.

Below you find a new web-album, including a young Jedi, whom I met on the dark lonely streets of Hanoi at night :)

Fotoalbum Nr 4
Here you also have a video of Arno and I singing "Back in Anger" by Oasis. Admittedly, we hit the right tune in one out of 10 times but we were told that it was nevertheless an entertaining performance ;)

Samstag, 30. Juni 2007

Goodbye Ji Young, Jung Min, Eun Sook, Helen and Signe!

Today, Ji Young, Jung Min, Eun Sook, Helen and Signe are leaving! We're all sad about that. It was such a great great time with you and I hope we'll all keep in touch. Karaoke yesterday was incredible. 7 hours :D Cu soon. David