Our fifth day was one filled with new sites and slightly more sleep. After breakfast, we headed over to the US Consulate, conveniently located in one of the nearby plaza buildings. Compared to the US Embassy, (which can be found in Hanoi) consulates are not placed in a nation’s capital. Most often, they are located in the largest city — obviously, for Vietnam, this falls to Ho Chi Minh.
The main portion of our site visit was located in the American Center. We had two different foreign service officers speak to us: one who worked in economics, and the other who worked in public relations. As FSOs, their main job is to provide any sort of assistance or aid that an American individual may need. I enjoyed hearing them talk about their “generalist” mindset; working in the foreign service requires a great wealth of knowledge about a variety of things. It was super interesting to hear two different sectors of such an intriguing career path, one that I don’t believe many people consider right away. For our evening adventure, we spent the night as a group at the Water Puppet Theater. A totally new cultural experience, we watched in awe as the puppets glided through the water. In all, there were about 16 different acts. I thoroughly enjoyed the dancing unicorn, fish, and boat racing, all of which captivated the audience’s complete attention. I’m still not sure how the puppeteers pulled the entire show off!As our week draws to a close, I can’t wait to continue our weekend activities and explore more of Vietnam. This has been an incredible experience so far that has really shown me a different side of the world. Hopefully, we’re able to see more of the unique culture and traditions that are much different than our own!