Posted by Amy:
One recurrent theme throughout our many blog posts are those small world, chance meeting stories. We love them. We love them when they happen, and we love to write about them later. It really is amazing that halfway around the world we continue to realize how interconnected we all are.
So here is the latest installment in Six Degrees of Separation from the Goldmans. In order to prepare for our travels in India, we thought we should spend our last few days in Vietnam simply relaxing. We flew to the island of Phu Quoc at the bottom of Vietnam, in the Gulf of Thailand. After weeks of cold and rainy weather in the northern and central parts of the country, we were ready for sun and warmth. We stayed at a great place on the beach called Cassia Cottages and happily enjoyed the beach, the pool and the company of the other guests.
These other guests included three American families who worked at the Shanghai American School visiting for their Christmas holidays. Amanda DeCarey and her friends and family including her inlaws visiting from Portland, OR were great company for the rest of the week.
Way back when we had visited Shanghai ourselves last November, we had the privilege of having a great dinner with Craig Toefel , our cousin Deborah’s fifth grade teacher back in Deerfield, IL. Craig has been working at the Shanghai American School for the last ten years. Did Amanda know Craig? Of course she did. That one was easy.
As we talked and described our trip to Amanda, she looked at us and asked, “Were you in Sapa on this trip? “ Sapa is way up in Northern Vietnam, and yes, we were definitely in Sapa on this trip.
“Did you have a tour guide named Sue Mai?”
Well, yes we certainly did have a tour guide named Sue Mai.
Sue Mai was Amanda’s guide just the week before when her family visited Sapa. Sue Mai had told Amanda about a family she had recently met who was travelling all over the world. That was us! We have arrived. We are now totally famous.
Furthermore, Amanda used to teach eighth grade math and was very pleased to be able to give Maya an algebra pep talk in the way that only a math teacher could do. “You’re solving linear systems using eliminations? I LOVE eliminations!” You will all be happy to know that after Amanda’s motivational speech, Maya took her quiz and received 100%. Good job Maya and thank you Amanda.