After an exhausting 27-ish hours of flying and layovers, we finally made it to Vietnam! It was so surreal, overwhelming, and exciting. And super hot, even though it was nearly midnight. Most of us just passed out when we got to the hotel and called it a night. The next morning, we got an extremely warm welcome from the students and staff of the University of Economics and Finance (our partner school in Ho Chi Minh), filled with gifts, lots of singing and dancing, and great food. We also had a language lesson, where I completely butchered the pronunciations. After lunch, we parted ways from the UEF students and went off on our own to do a city tour of Ho Chi Minh.
From the comfort of an air conditioned bus, the city looked beautiful. I did see a lot of American restaurants like Popeyes, Baskin Robbins, and a really upscale McDonald’s. As soon as we stepped off the bus to explore the city, the heat really took a toll. Alongside almost getting hit by multiple motorbikes, I learned that the streets of Vietnam were not for the weak.
When I said I was going to gain 10 pounds on this trip, I wasn’t kidding. Our dinner consisted of about 6 courses and I sampled all of them! Plates of food came out faster than I could eat them. Unfortunately, the dishes weren’t too vegetarian friendly which was a bummer, but everything non-meat that I ate was delicious. By the end, the jet-lag hit me and I was so ready to shower and sleep before another day jam-packed full of activities. And this is me signing off to do just that.