Saturday, September 12, 2009
We had 1 month, it was not long and not short but it voiced all things. It was honest sentiment that we shared!
- Xuan, Tom, Angie, Sonny and me came to Duc Son orphanage with 4 weeks. We taught English to childrens. We had a highly valuable lesson: that was affection!
- We (Xuan, Tom, Jan, Diem, Nhan, Albert, Jeannea) had a good time together.
I will remember a good time when we spent together! I really didn't want to say goodbye! I miss all of you so much!
Thank you David!
Thank you Co Hong Anh!
Thank you Xuan, Tom, Jan, Albert!
Thank you everybody!
I hope we will have chances to meet again!
I want to say: "Nice to meet you!" and "good luck to you!"
I love all of you!
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
We gathered together to say our last goodbyes; too soon the van was in the driveway. Secret and open tears were wiped away on shirt sleeves, hugs were exchanged. Goodbyes were whispered in ears, low voices murmured consolations. We would be together again, soon, one day. We believed with all our hearts. A month seemed too short. A month brought all of us together, bonded us the way things do when you eat together, learn together, travel together.
Luggage was handed up and packed in uneven piles in the van. We waved, cried our goodbyes one more time.
Hue seemed to know we were leaving. The sky was never bluer, the clouds white in bass relief. I watched the passing scenery closely as we made our way to the airport, trying to memorize Hue. The bridge that we'd often passed on many a evening, wind whistling through our hair as we laughed on motorbikes. The familiar, sleek shape of Big C, with its green and yellow colors. The daily whiz and rush of the locals on their commutes to market, to work, to family. The women, hefting loads of fruit, bread, and anything else, on shoulder poles, trotting down dusty streets. If I could, I would have rolled down the window to hear the now familiar Hue-accented Vietnamese, as familiar (although not as understandable) as English. Were we leaving? It seemed too soon.
Hue Phubai Airport rolled up, and soon we were in the mad airport rush to check in, get through security, and line up to board the plane. Before we knew it, the rickety plane was rushing down the runway, and we were soaring in the air. Hue now lay like a small green jewel beneath us, becoming smaller and smaller, until it was now an indistinguishable emerald mass bordered by a long strip of white coastline.
Tam biet, Hue. Thank you for having us for a wonderful 5 weeks. I will never forget everyone I met there--the teachers, the hotel staff, our Hue friends from the college. Thank you for opening our eyes to a new and different culture, of realizing the joys and simple pleasures of living in another country. Coming back to San Francisco, I was shocked by how large everything seemed: the airport seemed too big, the long highways with its mass of shiny cars, the rows of multi-storied houses. I started to miss Hue, to realize how appreciative I had come of Vietnam. For a month, I'd started to forget the comforts of home and realized the material luxuries I have at home--things that I didn't need. I found myself wanting to ride a motorbike through streets lined with green trees, lily-pad covered moat on one side, a wide shining river on the other. The sights of Hue filtered through my mind: children and adults flying neon-hued kites against an evening sky, streets of yellow lights strung between a canopy of trees, a man waving to us from his restaurant--his only voice the smile on his face, a gesture with hands. The old crumbling walls of the citadel, a red flag with a proud gold star waving against piles of white clouds, a pagoda with eaves like bird's wings. People squatting on the sidewalk or on miniature red chairs in the morning, gathered together around glass cups of golden tea and sugarcane juice. Sun-dappled leaves sliding against my helmet, the wind plucking at my sleeves. The noisy hum of the marketplace, the tiny corners covered with people and merchandise, women waving their hands at us, apologetic smiles and nods. The flash of a camera. A pile of leaves and trash burning in the night, a pillow of gray smoke filtering through the air. Squabbling over a restaurant bill. Laughing and poking fun at each other on a crowded morning bus ride to a school by a hillside graveyard. Woven reed sampans bobbing in the canal, framed by an arching bridge on which men and women zipped by on bikes. Stray dogs sniffing a lone bicycle wheel, lifting a leg. A trail of ants reclaiming a dead cockroach. A bridge at night, reflected in purple, blue, white, yellow, on the mirror calm surface of the river. A man dragging a bike with a stereo recording: fresh pork buns, banh bao. Tiny birds flitting in cages, birdsong like the call of a bamboo flute. The giggle of a baby boy, the excited chatter of a little girl. A bodhi tree with gnarled roots, lit up at night by white lanterns. The song of guitar strings, strummed to murmured singing.
Hue, and so much more.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Thank Dennis for your first talking with me. You are an awesome man and always understand me. I've not eaten your chocolate yet.... Thank you.
Angie, you're sooooo crazy and cool girl. Haha. You know, people think you are so strange in the first look. But I'm sure they will regret after that, because you are extremely warm. Thank you so much Angie. See you next summer.
Hey Sonny, thank you for teaching me a lot of badddddd things. You are so funny. I like the way you joke people. I can't imitate.
Thank Charles for teaching me the "bad word ever". You always wanted me to practice in any situation. You are well-done in guitar. Thank you for the pills, black mask and the Okinawa ribbon. When I wear both of mask and ribbon, I look like a dying H1N1 patient. Sorry man. I couldn't go to the DVD shop with you.
Kitty, thank you for the big hug. You're amazing. I dont like Kitty cat because it's fragile and just for the girls. Haha. Just kidding.
Hey Chris, I really like your laugh-out-loud. You are 35 years old? What? Wait wait. It's time to find the real happiness.
Katrina, your Vietnamese are good. You are a so friendly girl.
Hey Albert, I want to express my apology to you because although I were your partner, I could not do anything for you, could not help you to finish your work. You are a good student. Hope the best for you.
Amanda, your Hue accent is so surprised. I like hearing your voice. You are a cute girl in the group. How was the Kings Cup you drank when you took the last King?
Thank Jeanie for the good things. I know that word is really bad. I know how to use it.
Thank Sharon for your amicability. You are so nice and always smile. I really like your presentation.
Jan, you are a really good dancer. Try to practice more the "Nobody" dance moves.
Tom, I dont have too much time to talk with you but I know you are a good guy because you rarely hanged out with us. Hehe.
Hey Johnny, I felt sorry for you because you were the person who had to drink the "Kings Cup" punished beer? Try to achieve what you wish.
Thank you all,
Hieu Le (bad guy from Hue College of Foreign Languages)
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
During this whole program, I have been upset with one thing. I CANNOT SEEM TO GAIN ANY WEIGHT! Before I came to Vietnam, my mother told me to eat a lot because I was too skinny. I told her do not worry because food is cheap and I will eat large portions. I did. But I still look skinny. Co Anh said that the food in Vietnam and especially Hue have barley any fat and low on carbs. Maybe that's why. But still, whenever I see people who cannot finish their foods, I offer my stomach to finish the rest. People are more than happy to see me devour their foods. Is it just me or is it the food?! Hopefully my problem will be solved once I land in Ca Mau, where I will stay for the rest of my journey in Vietnam.