self portrait 2018


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TET Celebration at Ky Nguyen

I really love that the center makes time to do nice things for the teachers and staff. Every other month there is an after work party to celebrate all of the teachers who have had birthdays within the past two months. The kitchen staff prepares some cocktail snacks, including various jellies which seem particularly popular in Vietnam.

There is always a cake, which interestingly goes uneaten, but serves as an important centerpiece for the party table. There is plenty of beer and singing. Everyone manages to entertain themselves with conversations, snacking, and selfies.

The most recent party doubled as a New Year's celebration. This was the evening before Xenia and I left on our 10 day holiday to Thailand and so I had to hurry and process the videos and photos from my Iphone and camera before heading out on a holiday where I planned to fill up my CF card and phone memory. I needed the free space on my memory cards so I uploaded over 400 photos onto flickr before leaving on holiday where I could then forget about the event, about work, and about Vietnam over the following two weeks. 

I recently remembered about that party and those wonderful photos when I saw one of the colleagues post one of the short video clips on facebook. She had downloaded it from the Flickr gallery. It was such a great moment. By adding a filter and music the moment was really special. I had to remind myself that, in fact,  I had taken it. Soon after that, I thought that I had better revisit the collection and start posting pictures as well.

I did not have a vision for its outcome but as I started dropping the livephotos into iMovie, I began to see how it would eventually come together. Here is the result:

I also used my Canon 7d to take photos of the event. Alternating between the Iphone, a 7d, and a can of Heineken is my idea of a party.

After a full day of work, where many of us had been at the center for over 12 hours, we put the room together for our party. Few people had time to change out of their work clothes. Still many of the women braided their hair and put on a little make up. Everyone pitched in to bring the food from the kitchen into the front room.

Gift baskets were prepared for each teacher and they were brought into the main room to be displayed before handed out to everyone. I brought two home--one for me and Xenia. Loaded with cookies and sparkling cider, I had forgotten all about these gift baskets until I arrived back to Vung Tau after my holiday. It was a nice treat to come home to.

Before the event got started, everyone was having fun taking selfies. I personally don't enjoy taking selfies very much though. I know that I ought to embrace the style. Selfies really help you improve your understanding of angles. But there has got to be another way. I do really enjoy taking photos of other people taking selfies.

The main part of the event was singing happy birthday to some of our colleagues. Our bosses gave speeches and handed out birthday money to each of them. Everyone got a gift basket and we stood for a group photo. Ms. Vy's husband had my camera and was trying to take the group picture in sections. There were too many of us to take one large group shot. I knew this would not work. I don't have the stitching software or Lightroom 6. Then it struck me. I could use the panorama feature on the Iphone. That picture is what you see in the heading of this post. I then took a group photo of all of the Vietnamese teachers. To take this, I used my DSLR and just stood on a chair.

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