Two weeks. My heart is filled with the anticipation of being back in the United States, and heavy with sadness as I consider the goodbyes that are imminent. It’s bittersweet, and the strongest I’ve ever felt the sense of the word. Last week though, my heart was filled with the joy of community that permeates all aspects of Concordia Hanoi.
Wednesday the whole school loaded onto busses to participate in the school’s annual walk-a-thon, this year to raise money for a playground the middle school will be helping to build this week in a nearby province. The weather was perfect as we walked the lake of a nearby park, and the air was filled with the sounds of children laughing, parents chatting, and teachers cheering. I spent most of the walk-a-thon strolling with two girls from my class. It was fun to be outside of the classroom sharing in school spirit and camaraderie.
This weekend I assisted with the middle school drama production, A Christmas Chaos. Most of my time was spent sitting backstage making sure it was quiet, doing hair and makeup, mastering the art of the eyeliner mustache, shining a flashlight to see costumes and props as needed, and listening to the actions on stage and laughter of the audience. It was chaotic fun and rewarding after seeing the production come together over the course of the semester.
I also got a taste of the larger Hanoi community this weekend while attending a craft fair on Saturday and international bazaar Sunday. The fair was full of beautiful handicrafts made in villages outside of Hanoi, and the bazaar was filled with booths from around the world serving almost every kind of food imaginable. I ran into students and Concordia staff at both events, which capitalized the ongoing sense of community I experienced this week and throughout my time here. I’m sure it will continue as we celebrate Thanksgiving as a school this week.