New Zealanders in Vietnam Thrive Despite Covid
As Covid continues to cut a disruptive swath through Asia, expatriate communities have been hit hard. In the unique situation of living far from home in Vietnam, a trio of New Zealanders shared their stories with local journalist Nguyễn Lệ Diễm.
Palmerston North-born Anna Baldwin, a teacher and Crossfit coach, came to Vietnam in 2019. It was her first time in Southeast Asia, and she instantly fell in love with the “sensory overload” from the smells, noises, scooters, and extremely fast pace of life.
Despite the tough lockdowns which lasted for months, Baldwin was still able to maintain good mental and physical health, thanks to the active online classes with her four and five-year-old students, along with Friday night drinks and quizzes with her colleagues. Outside the lockdowns, they were able to see a different Vietnam, completely crowd- and tourist-free.
Her next move is into the NGO field, courtesy of a new job opportunity in the UK.
“I am going to miss so much this welcoming and warm country that has kept us safe during the crazy Covid time.”
Original article by Nguyễn Lệ Diễm, Asia Media Centre, February 1, 2022.