Monday, March 9, 2015

Soul of Saigon..Notre-Dame Cathedral

Not every Sunday, but most Sundays, you can find me
in the 9:30am English mass at Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral. 

The official name is
Basilica of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception
and for many, this is the soul of Saigon.

If you travel to Ho Chi Minh City, you will most likely
find it on your list of  "must see" attractions.

The cathedral was designed 
by the French architect Jules Bourard
and constructed between 1863-1870. 

It is a space and place 
with a beauty of it's own.

 It is just as interesting to observe life 
around the cathedral as it is to observe from within.

Hang about any day of the week
 and you are sure to see couples 
posing alongside the cathedral 
for wedding photos.

The photos are a planned event.

The wedding follows on another occasion,
allowing the bride and groom to share photos on the day.

Tourists flock to see the cathedral 
and the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
standing in a garden outside of the cathedral.

In 2005, the statue was reported to have shed tears,
creating pandemonium on the surrounding streets.

The "tear" was said to have flowed down the right
cheek of the statues face. The incident was
dismissed by the Catholic Church in Vietnam 
and that was the end of that.

Still...if you visit, 
you might want to check...just in case. 

While you are there...look around
for those hidden gems.

When life happens quietly and patiently.

If you are lucky....while taking in the mass and
wonderful music that accompanies it,
you just might find yourself behind 
a budding Michelangelo.

From me to you, a glimpse inside and out
of the Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral.
The soul of Saigon.

 Photos taken by me, inside and out 
of the Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Jeanne Henriques

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Working and Volunteering in Vietnam...

Views to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Readers often write to me for advice on living and working in Vietnam. Unfortunately many of the question are out of my depth and knowledge base.

I did a little investigative research to get you started. I will add to this list as my research continues. If there is a link you would like to recommend. Please write to me at

Happy Searching!

Thinking of volunteering in Vietnam?-nongovernment organisations (NGO's)
VUFO-NGO Resource Centre Vietnam -latest job offerings
Service Civil International- volunteering for peace
SOS Children's Villages International- Vietnam
Vietnam Friendship Village Project USA 
Center for Sustainable Development Studies Vietnam
Volunteers for Peace in Vietnam
Projects Abroad
VSO- Voluntary Service Overseas in the UK
Australian Volunteers International
Volunteer Service Abroad in New Zealand
UN Volunteers
Global Volunteer Network-teaching in Vietnam
Transitions Abroad- Vietnam

Interested in finding a job in Vietnam?
Vietnam Briefing- Vietnam's Visa and Work Permit Procedures
Vietnam Onlinework permit for foreigners in Vietnam
Immi Vietnam Visahow to apply for work permit in Vietnam
Australia-Vietnam Skills & Education- teaching English in Vietnam
GO Overseas- Teach English in Vietnam
Learn 4 Good- job search in Vietnam
Go jobs abroad in Vietnam

Doing Research on working and living in Vietnam?

Lonely Planet- working and volunteering in Vietnam
RMIT UNIVERSITY- things to know
Working in Vietnam- talking salaries and working hours
InterAction- A United Voice for Global Change
TEFL Jobs World. com- Teaching English in Vietnam
InterNations -Connecting Global Minds- if you are already working in Vietnam
International Ladies in Vietnam

Government Organizations
Embassy of the United States Hanoi-Vietnam
Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in the U.S.
U.S. Department of State- Vietnam
The Vietnamese Embassy in Australia
Australian Embassy in Vietnam

About life in Vietnam in English
AsiaLIFE- Vietnam
Word -Vietnam
Oi -Vietnam
Saigon Times
Tuoi Tre News
Viet Nam News
Hello Saigon!
On Facebook
Teaching Jobs in Vietnam
Vietnam Embassy in United States
Nomadic Notes- Local/Travel Website
Rusty Compass- Travel/Leisure
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Embassy in Hanoi
Saigoneer-Society/Culture Website
Positive Expats and locals in Vietnam
Expat in Vietnam
Historic Vietnam

If you are interested in books, movies and travel tips for Vietnam/Saigon, please read here