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March 25th 2019
Published: March 26th 2019
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It seems to have been all about the eating for me since the last post. Not so much for Lyn who has been working like a trojan. It's all about convincing the students to come to Paraparaumu you know and there is a heap of competition - I think she's doing OK.

As many of you know the food here is awesome and you can find great food at small prices if you're prepared to look around the alleys and back streets. The Secret Garden was one of those. We'd never have found it if it wasn't for a couple of other teachers on the trip who had been there. Nine of us ended up there and it was superb. Beer and Vietnamese food goes SO well together!

Prior to that we had all been (including me) out to an Apollo Language Centre evening where the kids and their parents had been invited to come and hear all about studying in Wellington. Apollo is one of the biggest language learning companies in Vietnam and they have teamed up with Lightpath Consulting to forge a relationship between Apollo and Wellington schools. It happens that the principal of Lightpath is Haike Manning, an old boy of Paraparaumu School and Kapiti College (an ex pupil of mine). Until two years ago he had been NZ's Ambassador to Vietnam so we assume he has connections. Some of you will know Haike from orienteering days. He is very committed to pushing Wellington's case as a top destination for education.

The evening went well. Lots of Q and A from the parents. A slick video of Wellington; some speeches and then a few interviews with interested children which I was lucky enough to be involved in so not entirely useless.

The next day, Lyn was up early to attend an Education Fair at the Sheraton. These are held in vast ballrooms in vast hotels and there are lines of desks arranged with each school at one with all their materials and an interpreter. I got down there later as we were leaving that afternoon for Hanoi and I was the designated packer. The Fair was jumping. Packed with students and parents and everyone busy.

Our flight left at 6.30pm. It was bumpy but short and 1 hour 40 minutes later we touched down at Noi Bai in Hanoi and were met by our driver who would get us to the Essence Hotel in the old quarter.

A 35 minute drive and then we were there being greeted by exceptional staff at this boutique hotel which we recommend to anyone going to Hanoi or Hoi An. Truly worth it.

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26th March 2019

End of the golden weather
Greetings to the exotic travellers from Whitmore Grove. The balmy weather we have been enjoying is now over. The West Coast of the South Island has experienced damaging heavy rain, and some of it, less of it thank goodness, is making its way to us. As I look out the window we have gale force north westerly winds, overcast with showers. Daylight saving will end while you are away, and we will enjoy the sight of dogs in togs on the last day of the Waikanae pool being open. Peter reports that the fish are plump and well fed. I am getting to grips with the intricacies of hashtags on my YouTube videos about the contents of the end of life choice bill. 👀 forward to your next episode.

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