“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.” Mark Twain

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Me Kong Delta, Monday, March 1 and Ho Chi Minh CIty, Tuesday, March 2

Day 4, March 1, 2010

I signed up today to do the Mekong Delta trip. The Mekong River is considered the lifeblood or Southeast Asia. On the way to the Mekong Delta we made an unexpected stop at a Buddhist Temple/Monastery. We received a tour and saw the Big Happy Buddha, The Monks who resided there and the inner workings of this temple/monastery.
After walking around there for a little bit we headed to the My Tho area of the Mekong Delta and got on a small boat which will take us to different part of the area. Here are what the boats looked like:
Me on a boat as you can see I am wearing a funny looking had, this truly did help with the heat factor and we observed many Vietnamese people also wearing these hats especially if they were working outside.
 We were able to observe the active river life.
 We went to one place that allowed us to sample different types of exotic food; here is the remains of our fruit plate:
We went to another where they were making coconut candy which we were able to sample we got to this place via a horse drawn 4 person cart (right before this point my camera battery died so the photos start to fade, I did rely on others for photos of me! But I will say not having a camera really allowed me to view all I was seeing through my own eyes and not through the lense of a camera)

I was able to hold a snake…and I did:
 We went to a seafood restaurant and this was the large fish that was placed on the table…it was quite tasty!!!
 The last thing we did was take a smaller boat ride down the river and I was paired with one of the teenagers of a the faculty who turned out to be a very nice canoe companion.
After that boat ride we took our larger boat back to where the busses were and headed back to the ship. For those of you doing that math that would be three sea vessels I would be on today!!

Today is the day that Debbie would be returning. So while I was on my trip in China Debbie (another LLC) had a death in the family and Marvel (one of the counselors) had some health issues and both went home in Hong Kong. When I got back from the Mekong Delta Emily and I had dinner on the ship and then waited for Debbie’s arrival. We did not know if she would be up for heading off the ship when she returned but she did. So a bunch of us took her out to one of the Pho restaurants and then to the night market which is pretty similar to the day market but it was outside and at night.  It is nice to have our whole team back together because there was definitely a void for the time both Debbie and Marvel were back.

Day 5, March 2, 2010

This day was definitely low key filled with crack coffee, more Pho and shopping. I know this sounds like other days but it was a good end to my time in Vietnam. Laura and I ate lunch at Pho 2000 where we discovered Bill Clinton had visited as well in 2000.
Here is a picture of Laura and I before heading back to the bus:
All in all I really enjoyed my time in Vietnam; I was able to see some sights, eat great food and interact with the people I encountered.  Because this port was not split like some of the others I really appreciated the ability to find some moments of calm in the chaos that has been most of this journey.

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