Wednesday, November 9, 2011

United Nations and a rare Andrew Sanborn Television Interview

            Well it’s November now and this is the section of each blog where I diligently count how long I've been here and how long I have left. I realize it's a repetitive activity, but it's also cathartic so please bare with me; here it goes....I have now been here for well over two months, and with 42 days remaining until winter break, things are starting to go by a little quick now. For instance I can’t believe I haven’t had a post in 11 days! We have now been here for around 70 days, which is also hard to believe, I don’t think it’s affecting me as much as the semester students, because for them the end is now defiantly in sight. Of course I am getting really exited for our trip to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) in the beginning of December, only 3 and a half short, yet packed, weeks ahead. I look forward to getting out of Ha Noi and the north and experiencing a different part of the country. And Saigon and the Mekong delta are definitely different. For example, the temperature high here in Ha Noi tomorrow is expected to be around 77, where as in Saigon, it’s expected to be 10 degrees warmer and raining. Which I suppose may not seem that different, but... uh... anyways...

This past weekend, for the first time, I ventured up into the North side of Ha Noi, which is the international part of the city, and is where all the diplomats live and all the international schools are. One of my teachers, Thay Chuck, invited me to go with him to the United Nations International School (UNIS) to play ultimate Frisbee. UNIS is amazing. As you drive up, there is a guarded gate, and on the other side is the massive campus. The buildings are super modern and cool looking; they have a huge covered pool, indoor and outdoor basketball courts, a baseball field, and a massive field that is actually living, green grass! It was a Saturday, and sports activities were in full swing at the school, there was rugby, soccer, Frisbee, swimming, basketball, baseball… every sport you could think of was going on at the campus. Two of us students from SYA showed up to play, and after playing for a while, we got tired out, and started talking to some UNIS kids who were also in the ultimate games with us. They were really cool, and it was nice to meet some other kids from the US and Europe who were our age. After talking for awhile, it was getting dark, so I headed home - but I hope to get up there again one day soon.

          Amazingly, last week I was once again on a national TV broadcast, but this time the stakes were even higher. It was a larger station, and a bigger show. Voice of Vietnam - think Good Morning America or The Today Show - was doing a show all about my school and our director, and he and the full VoV (I just made that acronym up) crew came over to my house to film what a typical evening is like for me and my family - eating dinner together, talking about our days, doing evening routines and homework, etc. They also did a formal interview with me with a translator - which you can see below. The show hasn’t been aired yet, but when it is, I will have the video link up on the blog so ya’ll can see it. What you see in this video is my school director, Thay Vuong, filming me from a different angle with my camera. What you can’t see from that perspective is giant cameras they brought, along with all the lighting and sound equipment. So, enjoy the full, ALL exclusive, un-edited, highly anticipated, Andrew Sanborn Interview. Riveting stuff, I know....

As a side note, yet another camera crew - for a different television show, this one in English, and all about my daytime activities - will be coming with me on Sunday to my Football game to film me refereeing. So after 7 years of officiating, I have finally made the ultimate goal (pun intended), to be in a televised soccer match. Which means I can finally retire! It didn’t take as long as I thought, so I’m not sure exactly what to do next… Maybe make the next goal to play on TV, which will probably take a little longer.

          Looking forward, this upcoming Friday, my class and I get to go on a field-trip, but not any ordinary field-trip, we get to tour two coal burning power plants, located a few hours outside Ha Noi. One is a Soviet built plant that is out-dated and dirty, and the other is a modern clean one that was recently built. It should be fascinating to compare and contrast them, but don’t ask how we got this set up, it’s classified.

          So enjoy the video, and also, I have just began an ambitious film project to put my personal perspectives on Ha Noi and my day-to-day experiences here, up on the silver screen - before I become too overexposed by all the media attention I seem to be attracting!  I don't know when I'll have it completed, but definitely before the semester ends. But remember, that’s not for sure, and you didn’t hear it from me, as I don’t want the Andrew Abroad Studios lawyers coming after me again…


  1. That was a wonderful interview, Andrew. I was smiling along with you the whole time -- and I look forward to more!
    You are getting to be superstar!
    lol mm

  2. Wow, that is so cool I can't believe that happened to you.