Teachers & Testimonials 2015

Charles and Shirley Finocchiaro at 15th anniversary dinner for An Giang University

Charles and Shirley Finocchiaro at 15th anniversary dinner for An Giang University

Charles Finocchiaro, who with his wife, Shirley, has taught English in Vietnam for nine years : “I make myself available to the Vietnamese teachers here. I let them know that I am willing to put others ahead of myself. They respect that. The friendships we have here at An Giang are to a great degree the result of this attitude they sense in Shirley and me. To them, we are more than colleagues, we are like a family.”

Matt Green and Taylor Caldwell at Can Tho University.

Matt Green and Taylor Caldwell at Can Tho University.

Matt Green, 2015 winner of the Nancy O’Keefe Bolick Scholarship Award: “To be happy in Vietnam is to be adaptable. This lesson is continually taught until recognized and embraced . . . In my first two months in Vietnam, I’ve grown as a teacher and as a person. Abundant uncertainty has forced me to embrace unforeseen challenges and let go of some of my expectations. I have learned to live more in the present and enjoy everything that Can Tho has to offer – to stop and smell the fish sauce.”

Taylor Caldwell, Matt’s fellow teacher at Can Tho: “I have now been in Vietnam for almost a month and it amazes me how much Can Tho feels like home. The heat no longer bothers me, I look forward to my classes, and I can’t get enough of the food. I have joined an ultimate Frisbee team with a mix of Vietnamese and foreign friends. I go to Karaoke and coffee with my students when I have free time. I have even picked up an extra job working with little children at an English center, and I volunteer at an orphanage every other Sunday. Truth be told, I am happier here in Vietnam than I have been in a long time and I know my adventure has only just begun.”

Taylor’s blog about her experiences in Can Tho: travelsoftay.wordpress.com