Is this Real? I am Pinching Myself!

Trip Start Oct 14, 2009
Trip End Dec 31, 2016

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Where I stayed
Vong Vieng Floating Fishing Village Homestay

Flag of Vietnam  ,
Sunday, November 1, 2009

I looked around from the floating village and could not believe I was really there. It is quiet and peaceful and out there in the Eastern Sea, (aka the South China Sea on international maps), nature trumps all.

I had originally packed the XOs in dark blue plastic GAP bags, thinking (naively) that in my suitcases, this way, they would pass through customs unnoticed. I still had to talk my way through customs, but the GAP bags proved to be a big hit in the VVV. The XOs had been displayed for the Ceremony. Tuyen and I found the laptops, each back in its precious GAP bag, carefully packed and safe from the damp sea air!

Tuyen and I unpacked the laptops. As I had predicted, most of them had completely dead batteries. On Thursday when the ceremony ended, the laptops were closed with many Activities open, and without being shutdown from the home screen. Hong, an eager 19 year old resident who graduated high school on the mainland wants to train with the teachers so that she can help the children when the teachers are not on site. The three of us opened the new power strips I brought and began charging the laptops.

The laptops are being stored for now in the small "Pearl Shop." Tuyen and I were planning to sleep on the floor of the shop too. The shop has a reliable generator for the hours it runs. On the previous Thursday, I had been relieved to see that there was a working inverter on the generator and that the Pearl Shop had normal power outlets. Huge thanks for small things. It took only a little more than 1 & 1/2 hours to charge 6 laptops. Then we did the other 6.

We started our teacher training before dark. The 3 teachers have not had very much experience with computers. They do not use email. They live in the village during the week and go home to their families on the weekend. Because they don't see their families often, they don't have time on the mainland for the Internet and until now, I don't think they had any need or desire to use it.

The teachers help with the cooking and island chores too. Huong, Nam, and little Mai were my host family. Huong and Dung, one of the teachers, went to the "kitchen" to prepare dinner. I promised Dung I would catch her up on what she missed in the trainiing, later.

As it got dark, we stopped for a wonderful dinner of seafood, eggs, and fresh vegetables and rice. Nam cast a nylon line with a plastic shrimp lure, into the water where a light was shining, He caught a nice sized squid fairly quickly. Fresh seafood took on a new meaning!

After dark, our XOs all had usable charges when the generator went off. Usually, village residents turn in very early here. The day starts at or before 5:00 AM for morning fishing, and, it seems to me that the village is on the schedule of nature's light.

Tonight was special. The teachers, Luan and Dung, and Hong, Huong, Nam and Mr. Ninh all wanted to work with the XOs in the dark until late!
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