April 8, 2009

Vietnam: Rain, Rain Go Away

The rainy season seems to have sprung whether we expected it or not. Rain and motorbikes are like oil and water. They truly do not go together. It has been raining pretty consistently for the last two weeks in the afternoon, however the mornings can fool the best of us since it is always hot and sunny. It seems to down poor right when I need to drive to class. Last week I was stopped at a stop light while the rain pounded down and the wind picked up so even my hideous poncho was flying all around. I couldn't help myself but burst into laughter. I mean this situation is hilarious. There are thousands of people driving motorbikes and all we can do is throw on a pathetic poncho and gas it. The ponchos don't even have sides, there is only a snap holding together the front and the back. Shoes, pant legs and sleeves become instant sponges.

Last week I was in the teachers lounge when another teacher bursts open the door and yells "Everyone, its raining" (we all knew this because we had all just driven to school which made his choice of words hilarious). His poncho had ripped into shreds while driving so he was soaked down to his nickers. What do you do in a situation like this besides pull out the books and head to class to start teaching. On the same day the air- conditioner was broken, so the classrooms resembled saunas. I started teaching and all I could think about was how I am sure that my sweaty face and discolored shirt was not going unnoticed by my students. As I began to drip onto my class book one of my students said "teacher, you so wet." All I could do was laugh. A truer sentence has never been said. We had a fan on the ceiling that rotated around in a circle so I decided to move the students desks so that I was able to walk around in a circle following the fan breeze. This did not help at all, I just became more distracted and my students laughed at my ridiculousness. So... forget the books, lets play a game. I was not the only one over heating. A few of my students where standing in the doorway (the hall was much cooler) peering into class and another foreign teacher across the hall was in a similar sweaty situation. The theme for that day became- "If you are not wet from the rain, you are wet from your sauna-like classroom."

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