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Courtesy: Duke Photography
Smith's Final Blog Update on Time Spent in Vietnam
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 08/17/2014
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Hello again everyone.

Signing in for my last blog post now being written from California. It's been almost a week since I departed from Vietnam, and the whole trip seems surreal. It's crazy to think I was on the other side of the Pacific Ocean less than 7 days ago, teaching physics and soccer in central Vietnam. 

I believe my previous post left off going into the last week of camp, and let me tell you, time flew. I remember waking up Monday morning, ready to take on the week, and before I knew it, it was the last day of class and we were signing each other's t-shirts. All the kids were running from classroom to classroom signing each other's books, shirts and whatever else they could get their hands on. It was a good way to end our last day of teaching and prepare for the next day, when we would have to say goodbye. 

On Sunday morning we all drove to the school to say one last goodbye to our kids and let me tell you that was a hard one to swallow. My yellow team brought us cake, cookies, drinks and fruit to say thank you and also covered us in silly string when we entered the room. We were all having a great time and kept trying to put off the goodbyes we so dreaded. With about an hour and 15 minutes before we were scheduled to leave the school, myself and my other two fellow coaches told the kids how grateful we were for the experience and what they meant to us. Within 2 minutes, there wasn't a dry eye in the classroom, including myself. The reality was starting to sink in. We would probably never see each other again and that hit us hard. It's very difficult to describe the bond you form with the kids and fellow coaches. They were some of the toughest goodbyes I've had to say, but I am so glad this journey was so impactful that it made them hard. Everyone I worked with, from coaches, to students, to directors, truly made me a better person. I miss them all already, but I know they will all be lifelong friends. 

I'm so very thankful to Duke and everyone who supported me in this program, but now it's time to get ready to go back to school and look froward to getting ready for the season! Thanks for the support, and I hope you enjoyed getting a taste of my summer! I look forward to seeing you all around campus and at our matches in the spring!

And as always... Go Duke!

Class of '17