The problem is that Thang Long isn't actually located on the street its address says it is. We found the street we thought it was on and stopped when we realized we didn't see the correct number. I asked a man standing in front of a house (in Vietnamese) if he knew where it was, but he just giggled and said something about bicycles. A couple of us headed into the maze of alleys branching off the street in search of the elusive school. Every person I asked for directions from pointed me a different way. We were running late for our scheduled arrival, and I was getting annoyed. I pride myself on never getting lost here, but this was ridiculous.
After nearly 45 minutes of futile searching I called a friend to see if they could fine a number for the school. They did, and a few minutes later I was talking to a manager from SCC. I finally found him on a completely different street, where the school is tucked down an alley that is somehow part of the original road we were on. Clearly logical address numbering hasn't made its way to good old D4 yet.
We were welcomed with bottles of water and smiles from the school management, who called us 'heroes' and said it was amazing that we are undertaking such a physical challenge. They explained that the school trains disadvantaged students, none of whom attend regular school, in English and a number of subjects ranging from photography to hair styling and computers. Tuition is completely free.
Then we checked out the English class that was going on, where the students nervously eyed us in awkward silence. The class leader thanked us for what we were doing, and a few questions were asked. ('What do you expect to be the most beautiful part of the country?" Ho Chi Minh City, obviously.)
|smiles all around|
|Sydney getting her nails did|
|Amy and Ann Marie getting something painted. I forget.|
|part of the crew that visited today|