Its been a very busy time here in Hoi An so much is going on that I have not had too much free time. I know that sounds funny but it really is.
I have had many invites to have dinner, coffee and yes the occasional drink or five!! So Jo has returned from the UK and all the volunteers are in fine form working with the teachers and having a grand old time. They are a really nice group of youngsters in fact 3 of them leave today to continue their travels and that leaves me and two other volunteers.
So what have i been up to well I have been working with the trainee teachers getting them up to speed with their swimming skills and then budding them up with our teachers here in Hoi An to assist and see how we teach the children here. These new teachers come from and area called Thien Phouc which I have been told is about 100km from Hoi An.It really shows that the water safety message is getting out there and these guys are very very keen to start the swim program in their location. We are installing the next pool there so so they are very excited. Most of the guys are around 40 to 50 years old and to see there dedication was amazing. Each time I instructed them in a skill it was fantastic to see them trying so hard and each day improving. I am very confident that they will make great teachers. the next step for them is to attend the next Austswim course here in Hoi An which will probably be at the end of the teaching season here (September).
Two representatives from Paul Sadler Swimland have just been here to inspect the pool and how things are going. Both reps Mark and Marcus were very impressed with the way the teachers are teaching so what we have implemented is definitely working here.
A couple of highlights these past two weeks were spending time with Chein and his family. Chien is one of our best teachers and is the pool manager at Nguyen Du pool. Great family they live out in the rural part of Hoi An in Cam Thanh. I have been invited several time to have dinner with them and there extended family and as most are learning English they get plenty of practice when I am present. Chien's son An is a beautiful 8yr old boy who has taken a shine to me. I minded him the other night while Chien and his wife Trang went to english lessons. So I had An, Sophia (my homestay family's daughter) and Lucky (Sophias cousin) all sitting on my bed watching tv and playing games!! I seem to be the pied piper at the moment!
Another highlight was the trainee teachers completion of their weeks introduction training for Swim Vietnam. We presented them with certificates of participation and we had a celebratory dinner (in other words lets drink beer!!) The teachers love a party and to socialise it really is so much fun.
During the past week i have also been working with Jo and attending meetings with the deputy head master of Dai Loc and the head of the education dept of Quang Nam province to discuss the future of the swim program in Dai Loc and the surrounding areas. I am very happy to be involved with this and to be able to support Jo and Trung (manager for swim vietnam) to allow the program to continue. They have a very bright future ahead.
So I know there are many more stories to tell but I have to get back to work (ha ha) I have been teaching almost every day and loving it. This week we have two more meeting to attend one at Thien Phouc for the new pool and the other in Tam Ky with the forieng affairs dept to discuss and network with other ngo's operating in Vietnam should be very interesting. We are trying to get the government to support us with some funding so keep all your fingers crossed!!
Water Skills for Life