Hello, our names are Robin and Sydnee. We are an American couple who have taught English at the Highland Center for three months. We feel very lucky to have found such a wonderful, welcoming organization in such a beautiful area of Vietnam. Ha Giang is a large town full of friendly people and lovely scenery.
Over the course of our time here, we have helped to develop and teach lesson plans for classes ranging in ages 3 to 12 years old. In these classes, we focused on improving students’ grammar, listening, writing, and speaking skills. It has been very rewarding to see the improvements in their English during our stay, and although we are sad to leave, we are also proud to know that we have left a positive impact in the community.
The Highland Center is a diverse household full of other volunteers that we have been able to share knowledge and experiences with as well as build cherished friendships. There is also a surplus of activities to do outside of the house. In the town of Ha Giang itself, there is a beautiful Market that we never got tired of exploring.There are also bicycles provided by the center that we would often take to discover the random streets of the community.
We would also often hike a nearby mountain overlooking the town, which of course has a beautiful pagoda at the top. On our days off from teaching, we were able to take our motorbike to a waterfall only 6km away where we would swim and cool down from the heat. The beautiful jungles of Northern Vietnam never ceased to amaze and often surrendered incredible secrets to us as we explored them. We discovered numerous caves, cavernous in size, as well as remote waterfalls hidden in the hills.
Robin exploring a massive cave near China.
The months spent here have yielded some of the most extraordinary experiences. We made friends from all over the world through which we broadened our understanding of culture. Teaching young children helped us to refine our people and English skills in ways that we never imagined while our Vietnamese counterparts taught us more than we could ever hope to teach them. Upon finishing this article I am entirely convinced that this wonderful experience on the opposite side of the world was completely life changing.
At a local fish farm in Ha Long Bay with all the volunteers