Hướng Dương

Well, though I couldn’t have imagined it before, our trip got even better on the second day.

While there wasn’t nearly as much dancing, there was still a fair amount of singing, with even more prodigious views – so prodigious that I felt the need to look up the word prodigious to describe it. After a lecture on Urban Planning and Development in Ho Chi Minh by Donald (Duck, not Trump), we were able to pick our Vietnamese names in today’s language lesson. With the help of my new friend, I was able to pick the name Huong Duong, which translates to “direction sun,” or sunflower. With our new identities, we boarded the bus to head to lunch at Tokyo Deli. They had us take off our shoes and sit on mats, followed by incredibly piquant food – again, this meal deserved a better word.

With our stomachs full (and my eyes admittedly watery from the happy experience), we went on our way to Phu My Hung Development corporation – Gabby, Dan, Maia and my assigned company. There were noticeable differences between their plan and Ho Chi Minh. For example, Phu My Hung’s development showcased more upscale features, such as landscapes and modern decor as opposed to loose wires and litter. For this reason, among others, this area provides housing for only the wealthier inhabitants of Vietnam. During the very entertaining presentation, our guide described to us that as a company they must be mindful of various environmental protection guidelines; such as green area ratio, construction density, population density, etc.

As a whole, Vietnam provides our group with more evidence every moment that it, too, is like a sunflower. It is growing in the direction of its own sun – a more prosperous economy, people, and country. (I love a good cheesy simile)

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