2012 Swim Vietnam Latest Update

OMG you would not believe the changes that have happened over the past 2 years.  The instructors are doing a great job and are really very good and would give some of our guys in Oz a run for their money.  We now have the two pools in Hoi An and another being built this June and also two demouontable pools about 20kms from here.

Jo is doing a great job now and has been working hard for the program and it is jumping along in leaps and bounds.   The boys are very excited about their big trip to Australia and  we spent yesterday going over powerpoint presentation that they will present at the course.  They are actually doing the presenters course (i hope to be doing mine  in July at the conference) so they will be pretty well occupied the whole time they are in Perth. Dick Johnson from Hillarys Rotary are sponsoring the trip for the boys.  They have a very full agenda and they have a free day on Saturday 16 June then on the Sunday they have a  masters swimming event at Riverton Masters long course.  .

AJ and I leave here on Saturday which I am not looking forward to I must say.  Next year I hope to come back for a longer time perhaps 2 to 3 months.  The Instructors really don't need any help and just last week Tao was directing AJ and me what to do next with the kids had a big giggle with that.  They are showing so much initiative and I am so proud of them.

So this is my adventure for 2012.  Keep watching this space for the next exciting episode!

President, Water Skills for Life

2012 Next Update

So last Friday AJ arrived and Mary moved out to stay with her sisters in the Hoi An hotel in town. 

On Sunday we had our big training day for the teachers which went really well.  Trung and Vinh were the presenters and we assisted as we wrote the training session.  The boys performed really well they are becoming a great asset to Swim Vietnam. 

Since AJ has been here we have been having a great time.  She has seen a great improvement in the program from last time she was here two years ago.  We have had a bbq at Van's house with 15 of the teachers and I have purchased a camera for them to use in the program as none of them have one.  Unbelievable isn't it.  They were so appreciative and now they can take photos on their trip to Oz.  

Well the last week of my 2012 adventure is approaching far too fast.  it is great to have AJ here and we picked up where we left off in 2010 full of laughs and gin & tonics!!

See you all very soon back in oz and not looking forward to the cold weather!

President, Water Skills for Life

2012 Week 3...

So week 3 rolled on and Mary came to Hoi An with her sisters and we had a lot of fun.  

Mary stayed in my house as it was easier to show her the swim program.  So i played tour leader again around Hoi An it was so much fun showing people around and showing them places to eat and buy clothes shoes etc.  

Mary and I went to the school pool and did an additional training session with the teachers who will be teaching adults so they could brush up on their skills.  This worked really well and Mary played the part of the scared swimmer.  

Over the next two weeks we went to Nam Phouc school which is 20km from Hoi An where a new demountable pool is located.  We met the new teachers and the headmaster at the school and had lunch at one of the teachers houses which was a great experience for Mary. 

There is so much happening here it is hard to put it all in writing.  So it is safe to say the program is going from best to better and the future is looking really good.  I have been able to help Jo with lots of things not only teaching/training so I am happy to report that yes I will be returning next year.

Happy (and safe) Swimming.

President, Water Skills for Life

2012 The Second Week

Week 2 in Hoi An saw Fiona arrive to stay for the week.  

Had lots of fun showing her around Hoi An and the many shops and eating places it was so nice to be able to show her what I have been going on about over the last two years and she has seen it for herself. 

I have also been helping some of the businesses here with some design work for flyers and menu boards which I was happy to do got to eat for free at Dingo Deli yum yum yum!!  

So back to the swimming and what I really came here to do. Seen many of the teachers do their teaching at both the school pool in town and at Palm Gardens.  OMG you should see how well they are teaching now. 

It is just amazing to see how far they have come there are even two of the senior teachers coming to Australia to WA to join a austswim course and help as a teacher trainer.  Trung and Vinh are so excited!!

Till next time - give a skill for life to save a life...

President, Water Skills for Life

2012 the first week

Well this is just a brief overview of the last week and I have kept pretty busy.

Fiona arrived on Saturday and she is having fun with clothes, shoes and bags being made and going to my friend Van for cooking class today at green bamboo.

So the craziness of this place and the many visitors is continuing and its so much fun. This together with the swim program have kept me pretty busy.

As I type the place next door to me is a construction for a new house. When I arrived it was a bare plot of land and within the time I have been here a two story house is half way complete. You should see how things are built here it is just too funny to watch. Would never happen in Oz.

So for those who have been following from the beginning there always has been some little thing which has made my trip here an experience to remember. The first year it was the bike (and yes my bike this year and I are only acquaintances not friends yet!) the second was the concrete bed and who could ever forget that! and this year its the padlock on the gate OMG it is so hard to unlock and the opening too small to manoeuvre in I have a bruise on my hand and its not funny. Took me over 20mins one night to try and unlock in the end I had to call the landlord for help. As they say here Oi Joy Oi!

President, Water Skills for Life

2012 My Return to Vietnam Swim Program

This years adventure begins with the flight here. I had to quickly collect my bags, clear customs and run to the domestic terminal changing trolleys mid way then line up there and check bags back in even though I had been checked through from Sydney all the time reminding myself this is the Vietnamese way oh how quickly I had forgotten this part of the journey!!! I finally arrived at Da nang airport to be pleasantly surprised it is now an international airport all new and shiny!

My friend Van's brother picked me up and we scooted down to Hoi An to where I will be staying for the next 5 weeks. My accommodation is by far better than last year and no concrete bed boy am I happy about that!! However there is always something to make my trip a highlight I now have padlocks on the gates and front door to contend with and let just say that its not easy to unlock in fact it took me 15mins in the dark to try and unlock the bloody gate!!! I have now mastered it but its very tricky. As soon as I had arrived at my place to stay it was lets meet the landlord passport to give to the police and paper work to fill out as well as organise my transport (bicycle) and finally get some rest.

The following two days were public holidays here so no swim lessons which was a good thing as I needed to organise food water make contact with my Vietnamese friends and generally catch up with everyone. The weather here has been really hot in fact last Thursday was the worst 38c and 90% humidity AHHHHH needless to say we copped a beauty of a thunderstorm that afternoon lightening thunder and a huge down pour for an hour.

So news from the swim programs: Swim Vietnam is going really well. One of the head teachers Trung has done a presenters course in Ho chi Minh so now should be able to present the Austswim course here but in saying that he has told me that he needs help until he feels confident to do himself, We have one new pool out of Hoi An about 20km away which is going great, and another which we have just taken delivery of which will be installed out in another province about 30km from Hoi An and the other big news for the pool is we are building another in-ground pool in Hoi An which has just got approval.

The other big news is two of the senior teachers are being sponsored by Rotary Hillarys in WA to come to Australia and do some training with Austswim in Perth and attend some of the swim centres. Trung and Vinh are very excited to be coming but they thought that it would be easy to come and see me until I explained i lived on the other side of the Country. Oh Well there is always next time. Maybe Water Skills for life could look at sponsoring instructors to come to Oz in the future.

Golden Turtles Swim Club is up and running at the new kindy just around the corner from where I am staying. Kerre runs classes on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons for the expat kids and then the Vietnamese kids. Kerre has 3 older Vietnamese ladies helping out and being trained as swim instructors which is great. I hopped on in last Thursday and it was a lot of fun. She does need help with getting some funds together to put in here own pool and provide things like proper swim clothing for the instructors.

So Hoi An is booming there is a lot of new places opening up and a few more expats arriving to set up businesses or to work in the hospitality industry here. Its still a great place to be and still relaxing but opportunity knocks for those who want to make a go of it.

Tanya President,
Water Skills for Life