Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The End (of another era)

October 1, 2008 marks one ending and the beginning of a new era for me. As of 5 PM local time last night I officially completed my contract with ADRA Vietnam. It was probably the best last day of work of my life – our strategic planning retreat brought us to Hoi An for five days and on Tuesday morning the rest of the staff flew back to Hanoi. Seeing as my contract was ending and I was already in a vacation spot, I chose to stay beyond the last day (as compensation time for the hours worked over the weekend) to continue to enjoy the pleasures of this seaside resort town.

So, here I am, gainfully unemployed, sitting in an almost-paradise garden on the banks of a river in Vietnam’s Little Venice. Certainly could be worse!

That said, I’m not certain that the Vietnam chapter of my life is fully written yet. I still have 25 days on my visa, and I am thinking about my next career moves. I have a couple of interviews starting Friday for some short-term positions (6 months or so) that would help me step up my career beyond the field work that I have been doing to this point. Any of them could potentially help me transition to a job in the US – where the job market isn’t looking so hot for the moment and I am still very much an unknown quantity. If six more months in Vietnam would help save me six months of job searching Stateside, then it will probably be a worthwhile investment.

In the short meantime, I am enjoying simple pleasures of life: a sea breeze, good food, sunlight and gentle rains. I’m also doing my best to catch up on some long-neglected correspondence – first and foremost on my priority list is this blog. In coming posts I would like to share some photos and stories from my last weeks in with ADRA in Vietnam. I have been truly blessed for having this experience and for working with such people. I have learned and grown a lot during my year and nine months with the organization, and I leave it with hopes for its future development – and for its contribution to Vietnamese development.

Vietnam has been a good place for me – and I hope I have given it something worthwhile of myself!

No comments: