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Page 7


Blending in?…

So after 9 months, I am finally feeling like I am becoming a part of my community here. After my continual presence and persistent smiling and waving at them, people are opening up.

At the park there are a growing number of folks who nod, smile, or wave and some, who speak English as it turns out, occasionally stop me and chat me up.

Given that I walk the same basic route to the park literally every day, the restaurants and food stalls along the way no longer try to talk me into stopping to buy a meal. They just nod or wave or smile and let me go on my way. 

The baristas at the coffee shop where I get my daily fix of caffeine no longer ask what I want to order. They just wave me to my well-established seat and frequently give me a little free surprise when they bring me my coffee (like a cookie or brownie or tiny pitcher of sugar water to add to my coffee). 

As I walk from my apartment to the main street, to catch a ride or on my way to the park, all of the people guarding the cars, motorbikes, and building entrances all wave and smile at me. Even the guards at the bank where I exchange large denomination bills for smaller more spendable denomination bills no longer give me the “hairy eye of suspicion”; they just smile and open the door for me. Now tellers automatically wave me to the counter to exchange my bills before I can sit down to wait - even if they have a customer, which makes me feel a bit uncomfortable, but the customers simply smile, wait the 2 minutes it takes to change my bills and resume their business.

If I could only speak Vietnamese better…




JULY, p. 9

AUGUST, p. 9


OCTOBER,  p.g 2,  p. 3, p. 4

NOVEMBER p.2, p.3, p.4, p.5, p.6, p.7

DECEMBER p.2, p.3, p.4, p.5 p.6, p.7, p.8


FEBRUARY, p.2, p.3, p.4, p.5, 

MARCH p.2, p.3, p.4 p.5, p.6, p.8