My First Week in Saigon


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It has certainly been an interesting week! Saigon is a sensory overload! The sights and smells, the noises, the sheer volume of people, cars and scooters. It was a little crazy at first, but I now that I know my way around at least one area it is a lot less scary. I’ve always been a big fan of Vietnamese food, my favourite restaurant in Taipei is Pho Hoa so I was very excited to try the local cuisine. And I have not been disappointed, I even tried snails! They were delicious, and go very well with beer! I have had some really good Vietnamese sandwiches, or Ban Mi, vegetarian Pho and some great spring rolls.

So, back to volunteering. My original plan was to ride around the city and try to find places. This, in hindsight, was a terrible idea. The city is HUGE, the traffic is treacherous, its rainy season and I had only one address that I actually knew! So, I did what I do best and went on a Facebook/Wordpress binge. I joined Saigon groups, liked pages, sent messages, collected phone numbers and followed blogs. On Thursday night, I went for some beers with a friend of a friend (who lives here) who gave me some more websites to look at and let me know about a fundraising event with happens every month. Now, I’m making some headway. I also found an event to volunteer at next week where I am hoping to meet a lot more volunteers and find out about placement opportunities.

Yesterday was a tough day. I absolutely went for it on my night out and I paid dearly, with a raging hangover and an empty wallet. I had no idea Saigon had so many clubs, and I attempted to go to all of them :0. More about that in another post ! 🙂

But, I pulled myself together late afternoon and went to meet a girl I’d been put in touch with who used to do lots of volunteering here in Saigon. And, as luck would have it, while I was on my way home, I got an e-mail from another group. So I am feeling good, things are beginning to fall into place.

Today, I went to meet the people at Little Rose House, and they have asked me to teach come of the staff English and also to help them with fundraising. I am very excited to help out and have already started researching the ways I can help them generate more funds. You can help me a little, by looking at the “Blogs I Follow” and clicking on The Little Rose Shelter. Please follow their blog, as well as mine!

I have a possible English class with another group, on Friday morning with a group of first graders and on Sunday I am going to a fundraiser where I hope to meet some like minded people and really get some hard work done!!

Fresh spring rolls with shrimp. I LOVE coriander and there is plenty with every meal in Vietnam, yum!

Fresh spring rolls with shrimp. I LOVE coriander and there is plenty with every meal in Vietnam, yum!

Fast becoming one of my favourite things to eat here. Served with chili oil and lemongrass.

Fast becoming one of my favourite things to eat here. Served with chili oil and lemongrass.

 

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One thought on “My First Week in Saigon

  1. Sounds like you’re doing it up right, Leanne! I’m really interested to learn how you found your volunteering opportunities and what you did to get ready for them. Looking forward to the next update! We miss you!

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