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And in the blink of an eye, we are finished with Coach for College and ACE in Vietnam. My time in Vietnam flew by, and as I sit here on my plane ride back to America, I cannot help to think what made this time go by so quickly. I came up with a few factors that caused this feeling.

First, I put all of my energy into everything that I did with the kids at camp. I worked long and hard and tried to be present with each task that I did during my time with the kids. I was so focused on the current thing I was doing that I didn’t realize how quickly the time was passing by. It was an exhausting yet satisfying feeling coming home from camp knowing I gave it my all every day. I believe “being in the moment” also helped to get the most out of my time with the kids; they could tell when you were focused on them versus being there while you were actually thinking about something else.

This second point may sound cliché, but I am a firm believer that “time really does fly by when you are having fun.” I have learned this through previous experiences.  Yet again, this axiom holds true. Even on days when the kids were being difficult or frustrating at times, there was always something that made me smile and subconsciously confirm that my time here was making a difference.

“Back at the guesthouse where we stayed, each of us had plenty of opportunities to go off and be on our own, but I constantly saw people consciously making the decision to spend time with the other coaches because we knew that we all enjoyed being together.”

Third, the American coaches, Vietnamese coaches, and camp directors were all very close. Even when we are not with the kids, the coaches were happy to be together and enjoyed getting to know each other. Personally, some of my favorite memories at camp came from simply eating dinner and coming together as a group after a long day’s work. Back at the guesthouse where we stayed, each of us had plenty of opportunities to go off and be on our own, but I constantly saw people consciously making the decision to spend time with the other coaches because we knew that we all enjoyed being together. I noticed a phenomenon similar to this earlier this summer when I was home with my family. Time really flew by when I was with my family because we genuinely loved being around each other and spending time together. I am so happy and thankful that I could find a similar feeling here. This is such an incredible collection of people. Each and every person bought a unique personality to the group that helped to increase the dynamic of the group.

Vietnamese students gathered around the table in classroom
The “Pink Team” eighth grade on the final competition day of the program.

I will miss this astonishing experience and time in Vietnam very much. But I can confidently say that I think it is time for Joshy to go home. I have loved this experience and will cherish my time in Vietnam until the day I die. During my time in Vietnam, I have grown a lot and learned so much about myself. I am so thankful for ACE and Coach for College; this experience was one for the books.

 

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