Hi. My name is Sophie. I am five. I came to Vietnam with my mom who is teaching here. My dad came too. Paige asked me to tell you what I think about Vietnam. You want to know what the best thing is? The crocodiles. There are big ones at the DINKY. They sleep in their cages with their mouths open. I think I even heard one snore.

Vietnam is a fun place. The people are nice and there is a lot to do. While my mom teaches at Thuan An, my dad and I spend the day together. My favorite thing to do is go look for ice cream in the town. There is a store with a sign on the front with a lion on it. That is the best place to get ice cream in the entire area. It is not for sale unfortunately.

My dad and I buy a lot of ice cream for my mom and the other Americans on the team. We go to Thuan An every day to meet my mom for lunch. We sit in a big room around a table. I get to use chopsticks and eat rice with soy sauce. It is the best! Then we all eat the ice cream that my dad and I bring. It tastes about the same as the US version but they are more colorful here.

I am really proud of my mom. She has a big job at Listen and Talk in Seattle. I know a lot about cochlear implants because of her. She came to Vietnam to help the teachers get better at teaching deaf and hard of hearing kids. I helped out the first day. There was a little girl at Thuan An. The adults were trying to talk to her but they scared her because they are much taller and bigger. She ran into the hallway to hide. So I followed her and told her not to be scared. I am older than her and bigger too but not as big as the adults. She took my hand and came back out with me where the adults were. After they did their grownup talk, she and I went to play on the swings. It was a lot of fun. I like helping people feel better.

The other neat thing that we did was take a boat in the Mekong. A plastic bag got stuck on the motor and the boat started spinning in all sorts of directions. Ai was our guide. He jumped in the water after taking his shirt off to save the boat. I wasn’t scared. It started to rain very hard and I got to wear a blue poncho!

There are many nuns at Thuan An Center. They are very nice. My favorite is Sister Dao and Sister Mary Anne. We all went out to dinner at a family’s house on Monday. I got to ride in the fancy car with the nuns. We sat in the back and talked all the way there. Sister Mary Anne took me to the Catholic Church. It is right by the school where my mom is teaching. There is a ginormous cross with Jesus on it inside the church. We didn’t go to a church service but that is ok because we have been too busy doing other things. I think God will understand. He takes time off to play golf once in a while.

There is also a big pool at the DINKY. The water is not too cold and not too hot. I go in many times during the day with my dad. My favorite time is when my mom gets back from teaching and we play games in the pool.

We go home in a few days. I had a fun time here. We need to stay longer in Vietnam next time. I think ten weeks would be the perfect amount.