I was born by the river in a little tent, and just like the river, I’ve been running ever since.– (A Change is Gonna Come)
It has been exactly two months since I came to Saigon, and two weeks since I started the English teaching course (CELTA) that I came here to do. The days are cooler than when I arrived, and it’s been good to be inside the school for the hottest hours of the day. The thought of getting up early and going to class every morning was one that had filled me with a bit of nervousness (ok, dread), since I hadn’t had any reason to wake up early for almost a year. However, though the eighteen of us have been consumed with lesson plans, long hours, assignments and teaching, it has been enjoyable. Most of us have already been teachers around the world (Korea, Japan, India, Australia, etc– an intrepid bunch), but we’re learning more than we thought we would. Though I’d be just as happy waking up early just to do yoga and then drink some tea at a cafe, this is strangely fulfilling.
The four-week course starts its third week tomorrow morning. We see the light glimmering a little brighter, and thus many of us are questioning where to head next. A few will stay in Saigon, but no idea for how long. When I mentioned to my friend Derek that I hadn’t warmed to Saigon, though I do like it more than when I first arrived, he commiserated and spoke about the value of community. His exact words were, “One of the most important things in life is finding community. Somewhere to belong. Even if you belong nowhere, you can find home in someone, or something, or somewhere.”
Even if you belong nowhere….
My student Mai asked me where I live, to which I had responded “nowhere.” She’s an Intermediate student, but even if she were an advanced student, how does one explain? Are some people born to wander? I’m not tired yet, I could do one more country…. and will, before finding that community about which Derek so eloquently spoke.