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Country Report II

Country Report II - Darius Owens PSY 212-001 Hello my name...

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Darius Owens PSY 212-001 Hello, my name is Darius Owens, and I have one heck of a life here in Vietnam. As of two months ago, I’m here because I recently got an internship under National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Phu Trong. As this is the Twelfth National Assembly, which will officially close at the end of this year, the Assembly is under an election year. My work isn’t entirely too complicated; mainly all I do is organize paperwork, assess any meetings with foreign diplomats and the media, and any menial tasks that he assigns for me to do (the number one job he has me do on a daily basis is get him a decaf coffee). You may be wondering, “How’d an American guy like that manage to get an internship all the way in Vietnam?” Well, long story short, as a junior at a major university in California, I found this opportunity back in the International Studies Office two years back. After applications and interviews, BAM, I find myself living in a small apartment in the city of Hanoi, not too far from where I work here. I’ve been taking Vietnamese courses since my sophomore year after I decided to come here. Of course, by time I got over here, it seemed like the course material got that much more complicated. I do know enough Vietnamese now to get me around where I need to go. Basically, the National Assembly is like Congress of Vietnam, only with a few slight differences; as opposed to the United States being run by Republicans and Democrats, the National Assembly is a unicameral legislature, as it’s officially known, or a one-house government. The one party that runs the show is, of course, the Communist Party. There are 493 Members, the vast majority being of the party, however, there is a minority of
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around 42 men who are non-party and self-nominated candidates who are in this branch of the Vietnamese national government. Being in this internship has definitely put everybody I know back home on the fence; my mom and several of my friends are proud of me for being out here and doing something completely different from the norm, instead of drowning in conformity and going to study in Europe. Other people in my family, like my dad and my best friend,
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