Many people keep asking me how I feel about going to Vietnam. I interpret this question to mean something like, “Well, obviously your husband wants to go since he’s the one who applied for the Fulbright, but is he dragging you there or are you really excited to go, too?” For the record I am very excited – probably even more than Michael. I get to leave one of the cloudiest, coldest, snowiest cities in the dead of winter and take an extended vacation in a warm climate with fabulous food. Who could complain about that?
On the other hand, I do have a few worries. One of the biggest is how I will get the kids to continue their music studies while we are in Hanoi. We’ve put so much effort into their work that I don’t want to even consider giving things up for a few months. I am determined to figure out a way to make it work. This issue has a number of tricky questions, like do we bring their instruments, have them shipped or try to find child sized instruments in Vietnam? I tracked down a store called Musicland Vietnam and had to email them to get information as the site is only in Vietnamese. I got this email from them about renting instruments:
We no have violin/ cello for rent.
If you buy Cello 1/4 and an 1/8th, you need order for about 2-3 weeks.
Some Violin instruction now Suzuki method.
Next on my music related worry list is will we find teachers who know the Suzuki method? Will the girls be able to participate in orchestra when we get back to Cleveland? I keep telling myself it’s all part of the adventure and we’ll work it out. We have such great teachers here at the Cleveland Institute of Music that I do regret having to leave that comfort zone behind.
Tonight Kate’s teacher, Kimberly Meier-Sims, allayed my fears a great deal by 1) telling me that Kate would definitely get right back into her studio next fall, and 2) that she would try helping us via Skype while we are away! She also suggested we try having the instruments shipped to Vietnam by Cleveland Violins. After all, they are imported from China and they probably have a way to do this easily.
I am sure if other people went they would have different worries. Not music lessons. I imagine my family members fretting about things like:
Dad: what if you get sick?
Michael: don’t pack too much (oh right he is going and already worrying me about my overstuffed suitcases)
Mom: you’d never catch me on a plane outside US borders and why would you ever go there anyway?
Chuck: can you ride a moped there and can your entire family ride it at once to get to school?