Today was a really fun day for a lot of reasons. First, it was really nice to relax after having a bunch of site visits and class in a row. I love the beach and the sun so I was really happy to finally get to enjoy the weather in Vietnam. Even though it may be hot and sweaty, not everywhere has weather so nice so I was glad we got to get out of the air conditioning and soak it up. The food we ate today was amazing. I have loved trying Vietnamese food, and last night was very adventurous, so the lunch today was a welcome change of pace. It was a hearty 5 course meal; after we finished we realized we actually had spent the last hour and a half just eating. It was times like those that I like to take a second and realize how blessed we are to live the lives we do.
The walk up to Jesus was hot and very sticky, but it was worth it. I had fun getting some walking in since we haven’t done much during program so far. I am so glad I decided to go up in Jesus because the view was amazing. The views on all the lookouts were awesome as well, it was nice to see some of the beauty the nature of Vietnam has to offer.
The ride there and back were really interesting. I slept a little on both rides there and back, but I was awake enough to take pictures and do a lot of observing. It became pretty clear when we got out of Ho Chi Minh, the buildings stitched from 3+ stories high, to mainly one story high. There were also a lot of places that was clearly farm land, something we haven’t seen in Ho Chi Minh. The places we stopped were very authentic. It was clear from people’s reactions that large groups of white people don’t often come there. Something that had been developing over the trip but became very clear today was the blatant lack of using lines for things. It’s so weird because in America it would be incredibly rude for someone to just cut in front of you, but people here do it without batting an eye. It’s hard to understand that it’s just not something that is rude to them, it’s just a normal thing.
Another thing that was clear along the drive was how much Vietnam is still developing. There are so many huge buildings being built everywhere. In cities nowadays you rarely see that, but here there are cranes and large scale construction projects happening all over the place. Vung Tau seemed like a resort town to me, there were a lot more tourists there and things were priced more like they would be in the U.S.. The town outside of the resort reminded me a lot of the Cayman Islands, which might make sense because they have similar climates and they’re near the water. It’s crazy to me that almost anywhere in the world that is hot, someone has built a resort with a pool, cabana’s, and fancy drinks. It’s an interesting dilemma because while it supports the local economy, it detracts from the true culture of the place. I am glad we spent a day there because it was relaxing but we also get to spend the bulk of the trip exploring the true culture of Vietnam.