I’m lucky to say that each passing day is my favorite of the trip.
Today, throughout our three hour drive to Vung Tau, or at least the waking moments of it, we caught glimpses of some areas of Vietnam very different from the streets of Ho Chi Minh. For a lot of the time, buildings (or shacks) were few and far between, and the spaces surrounding them were vast farmlands scattered with what I was told to be water buffalo. When I had imagined what I would be learning while studying abroad, I did not anticipate that it would be different farm animals at the age of 19. Though, It’s only one of many lessons that I am more than happy to have learned.
When we had stopped to use the restroom, we saw either travelers like ourselves, farmers, or shopkeepers. The shops were filled with items made from cows or chickens or fruits or vegetables and everything in between. The restroom, however, held three women who spoke no English. To my surprise, they had grabbed me and laughed while comparing our height differences. I just laughed with them – in that regard, the people are just as fun-loving and friendly as those in the city.
When we had arrived, everyone drenched themselves in bug spray and sunscreen before we became further drenched from the hike up to the Jesus statue. For your own sake, I won’t include any of these pictures. But, just know that this study abroad adventure has taught me, too, that even my ankles can sweat. The view and experience were infinitely worth the workout, however.
Then, we were able to relax at the beach and pool following yet another unbelievable meal. The resort town was unlike any trip that I have ever taken (though they are few in number). Because of this, I really didn’t have any expectations. If I did, I’m positive they would have been exceeded; the entirety of the experience was so enjoyable. I swam in a new body of water – the South China Sea. Yet, after all of this relaxing, we were all somehow more tired than usual. Blaise, Peter, Clay, Hanna and I finished the day with some street food once again. Now I’m sure that our whole group will sleep soundly tonight, ready for a new favorite day tomorrow.