It only took me ten days

Today was hot. And the worst part is it’ll probably feel like nothing compared to the four hours we will spend on the Mekong Delta tomorrow. But that is a problem for the future, and I’m positive I’ll complain about it in tomorrow’s blog post.

Today we went to a Shipping company, Cat Lai, and it was probably one of the coolest experiences. It was amazing to see how many shipping containers they receive each day and also store. It was hard for me to even wrap my mind around how that organizational process would happen. But basically what was explained to us was that each of the containers is placed in their locations according to size and type. For example, the refrigerated containers are housed in a separate section because they need special power hookups. Along the whole process of receiving the container and placing it in the correct location, updates on the shipping containers are put into a computer system. This way the location of the container is always known and not just its end location. Cat Lai is near Ho Chi Minh City this puts them at a crucial location for shipping because currently the City is the center of development in Vietnam. To help with the development growth, Cat Lai encourages more exports rather than imports and an incentive for an increase in exports is less searching during customs. Customs is operated by the government, and each shipping container must go through X-ray scanning. If the container appears to be good, then it will be marked blue, and it is free to move on to the next step. However, if something is suspected to be wrong, then the container is either marked yellow or red. For case yellow, a representative must bring in all their documentation for the shipping container, and in the red case the same rule applies, but they also must go through a physical inspection of the shipping container. Visiting this site was probably the most interesting site visit we’ve gone to because it was something that I didn’t know anything about coming in but the logistics that need to go in to plan everything to the perfect tee are what really amazed me.

Later in the day, we moved on to the reunification palace. The king lived in this palace until the end of the Vietnam war. The end of the war moved the capital to Hanoi, and because of this, the governing body followed. Today the palace is still in the condition it was left in, and the furniture combines both modern and traditional styles. My favorite thing to see was the old movie reels, just because it was something I hadn’t ever seen before.

I ATE BABY FISH!! Yep, that’s right I faced my fear of animal eyes and stuck a dead baby fish down my mouth. It was salty and crunchy and idk why but I liked it and if I saw them again (not saying I’d order them myself) I might just pick one up to snack on.

Today was another day packed with site visits and tonight will be filled with some much-needed sleep. Tomorrow is going to be a hot, long day on the Delta and besides for the life draining heat I will soon experience that may or may not be the death of me I cannot wait to be in the rural area again.

Question for the crowd how uncomfortable do you think this is? I imagine the bars being burning hot and the view to be a little bit like a prison cell. But hey at least her home will have some cute new stools to show off.

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~Maddie

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