I have officially been living and working in Hanoi for 6 months. It’s hard to describe how I feel about it. It’s been a whirlwind of emotions since I arrived here and it has definitely been quite an experience. I’ve gone from liking it, to hating it, to being okay with it and accepting that this is my home for the next set number of months. I’ve experienced the heat of autumn and the harsh Vietnam winter, homesickness and sadness from the weight of missing loved ones, the worst health I’ve had in years, but I’ve also experienced meeting new people, making new friends, and growing as a teacher.
It hasn’t been an easy 6 months, but I can say that I’ve learned a lot — about myself, my relationships, and my career. I have learned a lot from my work place and I can honestly say that I am not the same teacher that I was when I first started here, in a good way. It has been challenging, sometimes to very stressful levels and to the point where I questioned why I was a teacher at all. But it’s made me better and I know it will benefit me somehow in the future.
I’m a third through my IHCYLT course and surviving it so far and I’ve got 8 months left on my contract with lots more to go through and learn. To be completely frank, I am exhausted. Somehow though, I know that at the end of it all, it will all have been worth it.