January 6th, 2015 11:37 pm
One night, as I laid to rest in my mosquito net covered bed, within my open air host family’s home, in the lovely city of Can Tho, Vietnam, I pondered the idea of “How the hell did I get here?” Lets rewind to a couple months prior… to when I made the decision to take on the endeavor of travel halfway across the world to spend my winter break.
November 7th, 2015 4:01 pm
Vietnam. That was the decision. I had applied and been excepted to the College of Forestry and Conservation’s winter session trip to Vietnam to study climate change and the effects on the Mekong Delta. This program would be 5 weeks within the southern end of the Vietnam. I began to think if I had made the right decision? I wanted the freedom of travelling by myself. Exploring. Adventuring. Really immersing myself in the environment. I worried with such a organized itinerary and supervision that this would not be the case…but only time could tell. Lets flip back to my experience to see how it turned out to be.
December 31st, 2014 11:58 pm
I have never been in a crowd of this many people. Literally, I cannot see where the constant stream of people ends. Spending New Year’s Eve in Ho Chi Minh City will be a night to remember. As our teaching assistant, Nyi, takes us around the packed streets of vendors, children, families, and the random stray dog or two who have come out in the masses to reign in the western New Year. As the count down began, this crowd of hundreds of thousands fell completely silent. I could have yelled at a friend a 500 yards away and he would have heard me loud and clear. It was one of the strangest experiences I have ever witnessed. As the fireworks erupted into the smog filled sky of Ho Chi Minh City I realized the night was just getting started… but the rest of that story might be saved for another time.
January 15th, 2015 1:14 pm
The people of Vietnam happen to be come of the most generous and welcoming people I have ever had the chance to meet during my twenty short years on this planet. I was welcomed into the home of a silk weaver today who were members of a Khmer Commune outside of the city of Can Tho. As I sat down upon the bamboo mats outside of their home I was immediately welcomed with tea and the offering of Hero Cigarettes. I declined the cigarettes but did indulge on some of the best tea known to man. My host was a elderly man, probably close to the ages of 60 or 70. He spoke no English and I spoke no Vietnamese. He began the classic game of charades to attempt to converse while enjoying the tea. After about 30 min of this I came to the conclusion that his wife was the one weaving silk, he had three children, he owned 5 cows and used them for milk and meat, and that he was fascinated by my amount of facial hair. This was the best conversation that I had since the trip started, and we did not even speak a single word to each other. I was beginning to see that this trip to Vietnam would mean more to me that I could have ever imagined.