Monday, March 28, 2016

Student Sunday - Petals like Snow

The large old trees surrounding Ho Hoan Keim Lake are filled with white flowers and a riot of birds and butterflies. Spring is here and the grounds are covered with a plethora of color from the well planted flowers and shrubs. When a gentle wind passes, petals fall like snow from the trees. The ground has a fine dusting of white - a beautiful contrast to the reds, pinks and lavenders of the surrounding flower gardens.
Bridge to Green Jade Island

A goal of mine during these travels is to sketch every day and hopefully have time to do a detailed drawing once a week. Easier said than done but thus far, I have been able to keep up.  it can take up to 3 or 4 hours sitting in one place to produce the kind of work that I want
Harvey and I both thought an easy morning in the park with me drawing and he reading would be just the ticket for foot sore and weary travelers on a cool Sunday morning. Still being early, we found a bench near the Temple, with a view of Ngoc Son Temple and the arching red bridge surrounded by “snow trees.” Nothing could be more perfect.

Before I could make my first line in my notebook, I was approached by a young man named Matthew and his 3 friends. It’s funny. All the contacts we have made on our travels have approached me first and not Harvey. Matthew asked if we could become friends. My antenna goes up and I inquire, “what does that mean?” Matthew goes on to explain that they are all students and he would like to have an English conversation with me. He is a student of Literature and wants to become a high school teacher.  He states his job opportunities’ increase if he has, “English.”

Sunday Students
So begins my 2 hour conversations with all 4 of them. Why not? Thank goodness for all of my attempts to learn a language, as they all follow the same formula: Greetings, Names, Families, Weather and Studies. I added “what music do you like?” and “do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend”, which elicited giggles from both the boys and the girls. Tgoc (female) was a commerce student, had a boyfriend and liked Taylor Swift. Laura, was studying Human Resources, did not have boyfriend and liked Maroon 5. Hung (male) was a computer science student, no girlfriend and couldn’t stop giggling enough to answer the question about bands. 

Noc Son Temple Gates

Meanwhile Harvey has gathered his own posse of students and one old man, who turned out to be 80 years old, dressed to the 9’s, gold rings on his fingers and his own radio blaring Vietnamese music. He lived thru the American War and the French War. Regarding the wars, the students translated for him, “you must move on from the past and forgive in the future if one is to survive.”

Talking about Power Rangers

Finally, we ran everyone off, only to be ambushed by another child. I’m talking 6 or 7. She came up to me (again with the choosing me!) and began her English lesson, while dad sat across the way.
All together now, we all know the song, “A,B,C,D,E,F,G……..Tell me what you think of me.” She and I were filmed by all the passing tourists. I am glad I didn’t get any drawing done

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