My day started off with another great breakfast, and this time I decided to branch out and get a coffee. I am not a coffee drinker, but my GOD it was delicious. I felt less tired after that cup. I also got fitted for a suit!
We then attended a lecture on rural development in the Mekong Delta. I’ll get more into that later.
Next, we labored through another Vietnamese language class. This time we learned the alphabet and reviewed a few of the language’s many pronouns. I felt a little bit more confident in my pronunciation this time around, but it is very clear that I have a long way to go.
Lunch today was at a place called Tokyo Deli. We took off our shoes before entering the dining area. At first glance, our table appeared level with the ground, so I thought we would have to sit cross-legged. The table actually had a gap underneath for our legs! So super cool.
Our last event was the tour of Phu My Hung, an infrastructure development company that is pushing the limits of urban development. They recently coordinated the completion of the New City Center. This city area has a low population density while also preserving the traditions of the Vietnamese people. Many trees are planted to ensure air freshness, and buildings are spaced widely so that the sky is always visible. This area is a great example of globalization in Vietnam since forty percent of its population are foreign. Due to the structure of Vietnam’s government, citizens are not able to own land; it is instead collectively owned by the people and regulated by the government. Therefore, a house can be purchased, but not the land on which it was built. This differs from the U.S., where land is available for purchase. Here is a picture I took of the city:
Phu My Hung had an impact on the environment due to the construction of this city. Earlier, I mentioned a lecture on rural development in the Mekong Delta. We learned about the dramatic effects of upstream damming and climate change on the delta. The land produces half of Vietnam’s domestic rice and ninety percent of Vietnam’s export rice, according to Dr. Dang Le Hoa. Damming diverts water upstream, resulting in malnourished crops downstream. Furthermore, rising sea levels due to climate change will flood a large section of the delta. The biggest takeaway from this lecture was how urban development can create larger environmental problems. In the context of Phu My Hung and their city, the company took several measures to mitigate negative environmental impact. They studied years of tide records to determine appropriate elevation of the city, they incorporated a river through the city, and they placed green areas along the waterfront so less trash would be thrown into the river. All these precautions were taken to limit environmental impact.
Tomorrow, we visit Glass Egg Digital Media. I will also be visiting the coffee shop next to UEF.