David Ogilo

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4 weeks

Looking back on the weeks spent here in Ho Chi Minh and thinking of how I left Sydney for a city I knew nothing of, puts a smile on my face. To be honest, before I arrived I didn’t do any research about the people nor culture, maybe being lazy to read my guidebook might have played a part. But I’m glad I didn’t. I have enjoyed embracing the people and culture in my own way. Spending time with the people of the city and experiencing a different way of living has been a joy! My highlight so far was spending the day riding around the outskirts of city on a motorbike, chilling and enjoying the company of my friends – the Vietnamese way, and not forgetting the amount of delicious foods had!

One of my main purpose of coming to Ho Chi Minh was to volunteer and help the people in any way possible. I was assigned to work at a blind centre for children and young adults, helping the staffs and kids with learning English and other duties that were expected of me. It has been both an exciting and challenging experience. Not only coming to terms with the situation but sometimes feeling somehow out of my depths when it came to teaching. But as I got the hang of it, I started to realise that I was actually good at this. Seeing the improvements in my students and noticing how every class was always filled with smiles and laughter.

As I get closer to the end of my 4 weeks here I’m starting to feel I’ll miss the friends I have made and the way of life. But I’m also glad that during my time here I have grown and learnt so much and brought happiness to people I have come to call friends. From the students at the “Meet the Tourist” group, the staffs and kids at the blind centre, my colleagues at the organisation I represented and others I have met these past weeks.

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