Diacritic marks who??

Second day in Vietnam, let’s go!!

Lesson update: I don’t think I’m getting much better at Vietnamese, but I certainly am learning a lot! I loved the morning presentation on the Mekong Delta. I now know how important the Mekong is to Vietnam’s economy and culture. I’d love to visit a floating market one day, even if it means getting up before sunrise.

Visiting Phu My Hung was interesting! I can’t say I’ve seen anything quite like it. As the presenter said, Phu My Hung is a great example of successful foreign investment. For anyone reading who doesn’t know, Phu My Hung is responsible for the urban development of South Saigon. Saigon was originally designed by the French to hold as much smaller population (around 400,000 if I’m remembering right). HCMC’s current population is just a little bigger, at around 8.6 million. Thus, further development of Saigon towards the East Sea is necessary to account for the city’s growing population and to increase quality of life. Phu My Hung is a great example of globalization as they work with companies from other countries (such as Japan, America, Taiwan, and even more) to develop South Saigon as according to an overall city plan.

Developing South Saigon is no easy task, however. I found it incredible how Phu My Hung was able to construct an entire urban area on top of swamplands. The small section of preserved swampland on the manmade waterway was so different from the grassy spaces around us. Now that I’ve had more time to reflect, facts like those make me wonder about the impact Phu My Hung’s construction has on HCMC’s natural environment and the measures Phu My Hung has taken to prevent damage. The presenter was helpful in illustrating some ways Phu My Hung has helped prevent pollution, such as setting housing areas farther from the river bank to better control waste disposal into the river. I’m curious about how lawn maintenance plays into pollution production in the Phu My Hung’s developed areas.

That’s all for now!

And for all the other Pitt students here with me, here’s a quick Vietnamese pop quiz: tạm biệt!

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