Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Going to Class

A Will's eye-view of our regular commute to Hanoi University.

Going to Class from Will Bankston on Vimeo.

Thanks and much love,
Will and Kristin

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Hello From Hanoi

As of today, we’ve been in Hanoi for two weeks, or, as some of our more foppish readers may call it, a fortnight.

And that’s apt, as miles have expanded to kilometers, and degrees of Fahrenheit have shrunk to Celsius. In this transitionary stage, the conversion makes you feel like you’re going faster and fools you into thinking that the temperature is cooler, both of which are nice when you travel mainly by bicycle and are situated in a near tropical region.

Cultural adjustment though -the comprehensive thing that it is- claims much more than measurement. Over these past two weeks, we’ve worked hard to find our footing amidst this vibrant country in which we’re so grateful to live. The first step has been to make our room into a home.

For at least the next few months of our language study, we’re staying in the Newland House. You approach it from the bustling street of Nguyen Chi Thanh.

Then you hang a right at Ngo 180, and if you’re hungry, grab an egg sandwich or some noodle soup, from the stand at the corner. The sandwich, though a far cry from that syrup saturated breakfast breakthrough known as the McGriddle, is a a great way to start the day.

Follow the Ngo until it T’s and make a left.

You can’t miss our place from there. We’re just a little bit up on the right.

Take the stairs up to the fifth floor. We’re in room 502. One time Kristin mended some shorts in the room. (Thanks for the table cloth D.)

Here’s the other side of our room. We like to study here. We also have an acoustic axe in the corner. (Dad, that's the same guitar you sent for Christmas a few years ago.)

If you go up one level, to the open aired sixth floor, you’ll find two washing machines and one drier. I can’t express how rare driers are in Vietnam, or even all of Asia for that matter. And as you can see from many the clothes hanging from racks, the drier still has a lot of hands to shake and babies to kiss before its fully accepted. Besides, it can’t be easy keeping up with the hot Hanoi sun.

(Tim and Carolyn, thanks for the hamper! It's been a lifesaver.)

Most of our teammates, 6 out of the other 11, also call the Newland House their home. They, too, are studying language and are set to be placed at a university somewhere in Vietnam this coming Fall. For the meantime, we’re cherishing the fellowship and looking forward to sharing this transition together.