I earned more money sewing clothes than teaching children.
"I taught 6 years ago, now I don't teach anymore. I never taught here in Hoi An, but in the province of Dak Lak, which is my hometown, which is in the countryside. My family was very poor and I had to study for four years at the university. So, as we could not afford my course, I had to work out and it was very difficult for me. Go back to Dak Lak and help my people became my dream. In Vietnam, school teachers don't have money.
I taught at a school nearby my home and was earning $ 150 a month, even six years ago, it was very little. I think a lot about it.
When I moved to Hoi An, I went to work in clothing stores. I had an aunt who lived here and I sewed for her stores and earned more than when taught. It was when I met my husband. He is Korean and came to Vietnam as traveler, but he missed staying with me. We fell in love and he decided to move to Hoi An and today we have this guesthouse.
When I think about my past as a teacher, it makes me sad. So many years in college, studying. And then realize that I earned more money sewing clothes than teaching children. I hate to talk about it.
I loved teaching, I love the children of my land. Today I think that if I had some free time and some money I would return to Dak Lak and help the children there, riding a class to teach them. But life has not given me this chance yet. I moved to Hoi An, got married, now I have a house, two kids and this guesthouse to care. It's too much.
When I was a teacher, many people said to me, "Why do you teach in a school? Why do not you give private lessons? You would make more money. " I don't like to remember that, I don't like to talk about it. It is very sad to realize that all of our training is not taken into account. So go back and teach children became my dream, many children there have no school, or any place to study. Their parents are very poor. They don't eat right, don't have good health. If a child said to me "I want to be a teacher", (today) I think I would say to her think about it. And maybe teach at home, not go into a school.
I have many friends who are teachers in Dak Lak, and they are happy. They made friends with a principal and he helped them to get good jobs. Little gain, could not be self sustained if they were alone, but still are good jobs. My parents were very proud of me being a teacher, they wanted me to continue teaching there, but I said, "Enough, I'll stop here."
Maybe in the future I can open a classroom in my house, here or in Dak Lak and give lessons to children in need. At home, not in a school. I was so tired, I worked so hard for so little.
I remember a teacher who taught me when I was 15 years old. She was a very good teacher. Always told me: "This way is good, this is not good." She taught me a lot, taught me how to think, to work with my head, showed me many paths to the future. That's when I decided I wanted to be a teacher when I saw her teaching. I remember one day ask her: "How can you remember so many things?". And she replied: "You have to study hard. Every day!".