Time to Say Goodbye


My last day in Saigon was bittersweet. I am excited to see my friends and get back to my life in Taipei but saying goodbye is never easy. It has been a rollercoaster ride! Sometimes it been very challenging but overall, an amazing trip. I have learned so much about development and fundraising and feel more determined than ever to pursue a job the charity sector. For the past few weeks I have been so excited to get home to Taipei but as it drew closer and the reality of what I’m leaving behind set in, I began to feel sad. I have met some really wonderful people here and will really miss them, and of course, all the projects I’ve had the privilege of working on.

This morning I bid farewell to my gorgeous class at Phú Nhuận  and introduced them to their new teacher, Michael, a teacher from Galway. They wrote me some beautiful letters, and the teacher made me a gorgeous bracelet. I also got a new keyring, a chicken. So, now I have a flower, a bag, a shoe and a chicken! (the chicken is my fave for sure!). I did get a little choked up but I held it together well and all in all it was a nice farewell with lots of smiles and hugs!


  my assorted hand-made keyrings!


my new arm candy


saying goodbye!

After English class, I rode my bike to Little Rose to say good bye and to give them my bike as a gift. Ms. Thien said that she would give it to a girl who has just started vocational training and will need a bike to get to and from there. So, I’m really happy that they will get such good use out of it!

Ms Thien gathered all the girls into the office to say goodbye and thank you to me. I was totally overwhelmed and didn’t expect such a fuss! They sang a song and all said thank you.  I will really miss everyone at Little Rose and feel so honoured to have been part of their team for three months.

Our crowdfunding campaign is almost ready to be launched, to raise money to keep the shelter going of the coming financial year. I will be updating A LOT to make sure these girls get their funding and the centre can continue the amazing work they do!


bye bye bicycle!


with the girls from Little Rose


purple fish! A gift from the girls at Little Rose

I often meet people who tell me they would love to go away somewhere and volunteer for a month/three months/ a year but work and life in general gets in the way. This is the third time I have gone on a extended trip to volunteer and I cannot emphasise how much good you can do if you do a little research. It doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg and the results can be incredible. Bite the bullet, book a flight and make a difference to someones life.

Teacher’s Day

Teacher’s Day in Vietnam is on November 20th and I received a lovely girt this morning from my cuties in Phú Nhuận!


One from each kid and they made them themselves. So cute!

I’m really going to miss these guys when I head back to Taiwan next week. They brighten up my week, every time I see them.


Happy Halloween from Phú Nhuận English class!!!!

This morning I brought some candy and masks to school, they went crazy for them!

BUT, the absolute highlight was 10mins after class was over, spotting someone’s Grandma in one of the side streets wearing a mask and creeping up on her family. SOOO funny!

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Versatile Blogger Award-Thank you for the nomination!!!!



1. Display the Award on your Blog.
2. Announce your win with a post and thank the Blogger who nominated you.
3. Present 15 deserving Bloggers with the Award.
4. Link your nominees in the post and let them know of their nomination with a comment.
5. Post 7 interesting things about yourself

A big thank you to Deborah, http://myriad234.wordpress.com/, for the nomination!!!

7 things about me 

1.  I have lived and worked in 5 countries. Most recently, as an ESL teacher in Taipei, Taiwan.

2. I am currently in Vietnam volunteering, and have previous experience in Cambodia, Australia and Taiwan.

3. I studied Dance Studies at the University of Wolverhamption in England. I still love to dance as a hobby, and recently had some salsa lessons!

4. I love to travel and have visited almost 20 countries, I hope to add at least two new places a year!

5. I am new to blogging, and writing in general and finding it both challenging and rewarding. 

6. I love tattoos, I have three but want lots more! 

7. I love music, epecially going to concerts and festivals.

Since I am so new to this I have chosen my Top 5 Blogs (instead of 15), all focusing on development and volunteering;



3. http://aidspeak.wordpress.com/


5. http://how-to-volunteer-overseas.com/

Congrats to the nominees!

Just a few pics of my gorgeous Friday class!!

As some of you are probably aware, I have had a few mishaps recently in Saigon. The latest being snatch an grab after my run in the park last night, so I’m feeling a little down. This is a nice reminder of why I am here and why I love what I do!


Last Friday we talked about what you would like to be when you grow up. The kids got really into it, though I think much of their amusement was down to my lack of artistic talents. One cutie told me he wanted to be a football player and play for Manchester United. There were a few who wanted to be doctor, dancers and dentists! These kids are from disadvantaged areas, and have some learning and behavioural problems but I hope that they can continue to dream big as they grow up and I’m working hard to instil a good attitude and work ethic where education is concerned.

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Best Volunteer Teaching Programs in the World

Best Volunteer Teaching Programs in the World

Thousands of individuals are looking for volunteer teaching positions in areas around the world. Volunteering abroad not only exposes you to a different culture, but it also allows individuals to explore the world and give back to the communities that support them. Volunteer teaching, in particular, is a popular option for many people who are looking at breaking into the international volunteering arena because teaching is a valuable and rewarding career. Many employers also see it as a valuable job skill.

Here are some of our favorite volunteer teaching programs from around the world, in no particular order:

Experience the Republic of Georgia through Teach and Learn in Georgia

Why it’s the best: Experiencing local culture and making a real difference. Georgia is also one of the few places where non-native English speakers can find teaching jobs.

In recent years, Georgia has been working hard to reform itself into a modern and competitive nation. To further its progress, it has made English education a top priority. Schools throughout the country, from the urban and hip capital city of Tbilisi, to the rustic and rural mountain villages are looking for English speakers to come and teach English in Georgia. This is one of the few places where anyone who can demonstrate fluency in English—regardless of their home country and native language—can easily and legally find a teaching job.

Benefits include paid flights, and in-country assistance. Plus, there is a visa-free entry for up to one-year, that’s one less hassle that you have to worry about. Most teachers here live in a home-stay with a Georgian family. You won’t make a large sum of money teaching English in Georgia (teachers are compensated with what amounts to a typical Georgian salary), you’ll make enough to get by, as well as fund some travels during weekends and breaks. Most importantly, you will have a unique chance to be immersed in this culture and to be working in schools that really need qualified teachers.

Make a Difference with the English Opens Doors Program in Chile

Why it’s the best: Make a difference, jobs easy to find

Adventure, beautiful scenery, and friendly people all await ESL teachers in Chile. Opportunities to teach English are plentiful here, and often involve meaningful work with schools in rural areas. Chile’s unique dialect of Spanish is a big draw for those interested in linguistics, or just for those looking to improve their Spanish. Salaries for teaching English in Chile are not high, but you can easily make enough to live on, and still have some left over to travel around the country.

Travel A World Away – Teach in Bhutan

Why it’s the best: Getting paid to volunteer in the happiest country in Asia

Teaching in Bhutan works in partnership with the Ministry of Education in Bhutan to send certified native English speaking teachers to public schools across the country. Teachers are responsible for paying for their airfare, travel and medical insurance, visa and work permit and start-up costs. As an employee of the Government of Bhutan, you will be paid a local Bhutanese salary of 20,000 Nu ($400USD) at the end of each month. This salary is more than enough to cover your living expenses for the month, including your accommodation, food, and travel. Volunteer opportunities in Bhutan include positions in urban and rural settings. This beautiful Himalayan kingdom may be landlocked, but the beautiful mountain scenery, a strong sense of national identity and an isolated culture are bound to make your experience out of this world. Besides, what could be better than volunteering in the happiest country in Asia?

Teachers Without Borders

Why it’s the best: A variety of programs to choose from

Teachers Without Borders is an international non-profit organization that enhances human welfare by connecting teachers around the world with communities in need of help. TWB offers programs in Asia, Africa, South America and North America. They’re looking for teachers who can support, inspire and share information within communities across the world.


Why it’s the best: WorldTeach is often considered as an alternative to the Peace Corps.

Where in the world do you want to teach? WorldTeach offers programs all over the world. They accept applicants of all nationalities who speak a native level of English. They also accept married couples and friends, which is a draw for many young volunteers who are looking to get into the international volunteering arena. In short, WorldTeach is an excellent non-profit organization that can put you on the right path to volunteering abroad.

About Carrie Kellenberger

A Canadian expat that has been living abroad in Asia since 2003, Carrie began her career with Reach To Teach Recruiting in 2006 as an ESL teacher in Taiwan. Today, she and her husband are co-owners of Reach To Teach. In her free time, Carrie works as a freelance travel writer and photographer, providing regular content to several publishing companies and travel publications in Asia and North America. She writes about her personal travel adventures on Travel Asia – My Several Worlds. Follow Carrie on Google+ or on Twitter @globetrotteri.

The Little Rose Warm Shelter


I first learned about Little Rose through a friend that I met in Taiwan. I was telling her about my plans to volunteer in Saigon and she recommended them as a reputable charity doing a great job.

Sexual abuse of young girls in South East Asia is a huge problem, and Vietnam is no exception. The Little Rose Shelter, established in 1992, is a safe place for young girls who have been victims of abuse. Here they can go to school, learn English, learn real skills to help them get better jobs and most importantly, feel safe and secure. There is a huge focus on helping these girls recover mentally and physically from the horrors they have faced, and rebuilding their confidence.

This documentary was made by a volunteer who was at The Little Rose Shelter.



After a few attempts to get in touch I was finally able to visit the director Mai and discuss volunteering. We had a conversation about what they needed and how I could help. My main role will be as a fundraiser, which am really excited about! I have done fundraising before, in Taiwan and Australia and have been brainstorming ideas and researching for the past couple of weeks.

I also teach English to some of the adult staff twice a week, which is going really well. They are very eager to improve their English and I feel it will be in invaluable for them when dealing with new volunteers, or potential sponsors. I dont have much direct contact with the girls, as the volunteers who work directly with them need to be properly qualified  but I do see them going about their daily chores, cooking, homework, all the normal stuff. They are sweet girls and always greet me with a smile and a few phrases in English.

I hope to also help the office staff to keep their websites up to date so that future volunteer and benefactors can keep up with the goings on at Little Rose, and so that Little Rose is always in the front of peoples minds.

I met with a fundraiser from the Danish Vietnamese Association the other day and we had a great talk about Little Rose. I hope to be involved in some upcoming fundraising events and feel as though I will learn a lot from him. Big things coming up in the near future!!

a mural done by some of the girls
a mural done by some of the girls

I Found a Stationary Shop

I had been struggling to find a store to buy supplies but I stumbled across one today walking back from lunch and picked up some stickers and pencils for my Friday class. The selection is not as good as Taiwan but they have cheap stickers!

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The class is going well, it is easily the highlight of my week. The kids are so enthusiastic and remember the old material well. I brought my iphone and some speakers last week and they LOVED singing. The have requested I upload Gangnam Style for our next lesson and they are so cute, I relented!!

More on their progress soon. 😀