What a warm and lovely evening I just had. I felt pretty sad about never being thanked or appreciated by the last family I worked for (I mean, the kids were lovely, it was just the parental unit(s) that seemed in the dark about how much I was putting into my time with the kids) and now I feel redeemed: the family I work for now is so sweet and kind. I get more smiles and nods of approval and they don't even speak English as well as the ex-family! The Mom noticed that I really seem to like the bottle of water that she puts out for me every day when I arrive for tutoring, and so last week she started giving me one to take home on the bus. Aw! Today while we were laughing and singing (aka, learning) the Mom came into our study room and handed me a beautiful bag with a golden box inside, larger than a shoebox. I was stunned, and said, "for me?!" She had no idea what I was saying but when I pointed at myself with my eyebrows raised the kids laughed and clapped and i said a litany of thankyous before trying to figure out what it was. Turns out that inside the beautiful bag was the beautiful box, inside of which there were four more beautiful boxes, all elaborately folded and decorated. Inside each of those boxes is a special Moon Cake, which are eaten at a specific point during each moon cycle and given as gifts. Wow! The kids pointed and explained and drew pictures for me of the moon and stars and I just kinda sat there grinning. What an incredibly sweet gesture!
When it was time for me to go (I tutor from 5 to 6pm) the little girl, whom I call Tina, began making sad faces and pointing the clock on my phone, shaking her head no. I explained that I stay in the room from 5 to 6 and then I get on the bus and "see you tomorrow." She was not convinced. Packing up my materials, we headed downstairs to where her Dad pays me (in cash, everyday--so cool) and yammered at him, pointing at me and making the international "Daddy, please?" face that all daughters inherently know, so matter their nationality or age. He told me that the kids really wanted me to stay for an hour and a half each day, and would I mind if I taught from 5-6:30 and he would pay me an extra 200,000 dong? Um, how do you say "Hell yes!" in Vietnamese? So guys, not that the money is the important part, because really it's not, I like these kids so much and we have a ton of fun and they are really SO smart, but this means I am now making 600,000 each evening. WOOO!!!Then we talked (again) about the possibility of a weekend trip- just me and the kids, unless I want to bring a friend, which is fine (at least the way I'm understanding it): all expenses paid, plus a stipend for me (not yet worked out), plus we'd be going to the beach. Again, WOOO! So anyway, I say my goodbyes and I'm walking out the door when the Mom slips a bracelet onto my arm. In my exact favorite colors. How did she know??
Ah, job satisfaction. Here are my goodies.
Moon Cake Box of pretties:
Are the Moon Cakes good? And how!