Vietnam is a country, not a war

Today started off fantastic as we were able sleep an extra hour than usual as these past couple days have been exhausting but unforgettable!  We ate breakfast and started our day by visiting the US Consulate in Ho Chi Minh city.  We listened to a short talk from two foreign service officers who work at the consulate about what their job is and how to get into the position that they are in.  As we have been hearing this whole trip, the two speakers made mention of Vietnam’s continually growing economy and gave insight to why this is happening.  I found a couple of things very interesting during their talk this morning.  The first being that the Vietnamese government has a forward focused plan of action, and what countries like the US to know that Vietnam is a country, not a war.  This statement really stuck with me and caused me to even reevaluate my view of Vietnam and their place in this world.  The speakers even mentioned that as of this year, 93% of Vietnamese citizens view US citizens in a positive manner which was mind blowing to me because I found myself seeing Vietnam as a war and not a country.  After our visit to the consulate, we had lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant that primarily featured dishes from central Vietnam and as I mentioned yesterday, the cultural influences in each section of Vietnam are different.  We followed up our lunch by going to UEF for one final history and Vietnamese language class.  The professor finished up her presentation by going over the different cuisines and dresses of Vietnam and even had her students give us a fashion show to allow us to see these traditional outfits.  Our last language class covered how to bargain with street food sellers and use expressions such as too expensive or reduce the price so we can practice these skills as we visit the different markets over the next week.  Lastly, we finished our day by going to see a Vietnamese water puppet show at a local theatre.  It was such a cool experience and definitely not what I had expected.  A lot of traditional instruments were featured as well, and it was overall just such an amazing thing to see.  I am still loving my time here and can’t believe we are almost halfway done with the trip.  I wish the days would stop going so fast!

Water Puppet Show

Leave a Reply