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Archive for the ‘Vietnam’ Category

Veterans Day is More Than A Day Off

Posted by Nancy on November 11, 2008

Freedom is not free.  Remember our veterans today and thank them for your freedom.

Dedicated to my father, who served in World War II, and my husband, who served in Vietnam, retired from the Air Force, and owns a drawer full of shirts with eagles on them. How sweet that we now have a Vietnamese grandson.

Pray that our country remains strong and free in the coming years.

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Protected: How Do YOU Define Corruption?

Posted by Nancy on April 29, 2008

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Protected: Adoption Corruption

Posted by Nancy on April 24, 2008

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Odd Reminders and Strange Events

Posted by Nancy on April 23, 2008

I find myself wishing I could see Hanoi again, feel the bustle of the city, smell the overpowering fumes from so many scooters, watch the crazy traffic, see the poverty in the countryside, experience the friendliness of the people, and absorb the reality of that country.

Everytime I open my blog I see the Blankie Buddies at the top, and I think of Vietnam.  I need to change the picture, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to do it yet.  The Blankie Buddies are gone, left with the agency to distribute to the babies, so it’s time for the picture to go too.  Maybe in another few days.  The happy grin on the monkey gets me every time, embroidered there by a young man from church (tell him thanks, Teresa).  I left that one with a little baby who had no name yet.

I had lunch with some friends from church yesterday, and they wanted to see pictures from my trip.  I found myself showing them more than they were probably interested in, but it is still so fascinating to me.  I wonder how long it takes for that to go away?

And to think I spent the first year of my marriage worried about my husband’s safety, while he served in the Air Force in Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam, during the war.  I could never have imagined my going there, or, for heaven’s sake, the people there welcoming Americans.  What odd turns of events happen in our lives.

I need to change gears.  There is so much going on that I need to focus on, here and now. 

I am at Doug’s babysitting Z~, and have to drive home tomorrow for a meeting with the architect for the new fire station.  At the price of gas these days I hate to make an extra trip back and forth, but the kids and the architect are both too important to miss.  Besides, I figure only six more weeks of babysitting before Doug flies out to Utah and gets married, then my three year opportunity to spend time with the grandkids will be over.  I will still visit, but it won’t be the same.  It is a kind of bittersweet thought.

There is nothing bittersweet about getting my life back though. 

I will undoubtedly take some of that time to visit Elaine and her kids in suburban Radiator Springs, since I will be missing those grandkids.

Posted in Life, Vietnam | 4 Comments »

Protected: From Spindly to Sturdy in One Week

Posted by Nancy on April 14, 2008

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Protected: Picking Up Dinner at a Drive-Thru

Posted by Nancy on April 12, 2008

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Protected: Ships Passing in the Night in Hanoi

Posted by Nancy on April 9, 2008

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Protected: The Baby Trade

Posted by Nancy on April 8, 2008

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Protected: Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jog

Posted by Nancy on April 6, 2008

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Adventures In Fine Dining

Posted by Nancy on April 4, 2008

We are in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), formerly known as Saigon.  The weather is hot and humid, and if this is what early April is like I would hate to see August.  The pilot announced it was 34 degrees celsius, so those who are smarter than I am can convert that to fahrenheit.

We flew down this afternoon and got in about 3:30.  We have taken a hotel room, but have to be at the airport by 3:15 a.m. to straighten out a slight problem with tickets for our 7:30 a.m flight, so there won’t be much sleeping.  At least we can stretch out and relax.

Ms. Lam and Ms. Thuy said many people in HCMC speak English, not like in Hanoi.  Well, a lot of people in Hanoi spoke English and so far we have not met many here who can.  The ladies at the hotel desk, and no one else.

We had dinner at the hotel restaurant, and no one there spoke English beyond “chicken” and “Coke.”  They understood a few words, but darn few.  It was the most humorous meal we have had and was a good ending to our time in Vietnam.  See, last night we went to a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant, and somehow it seemed wrong to eat American cuisine (does KFC qualify as “cuisine”?) on our last night in Hanoi. 

We made up for it today.

The menu was in Vietnamese and French, no English.  I tried to explain that I do not like spicy foods and didn’t want anything “hot,” so they turned the menu to “salads.”  And I do mean “they,” as it had become a group project with three or four people trying to give us good service and no one speaking or understanding English. 

I said no, no salad.  Finally, I told them to bring me anything with chicken, since they knew that word.  I got hot wings.  Well, technically it wasn’t hot wings, since only two of the pieces were wings and they were the tip of the wing – you know, the part you cut off and throw away because there’s no meat on it. 

I took vertebrate anatomy in college and dissected animals, and I couldn’t identify what parts of a chicken I was eating beyond that.

Matt said he was going to play it safe and ordered fried rice with beef.  After my food was delivered, but while his was still being cooked, he looked up and said, “What?”  Turns out he knows just enough French that, as he overheard them discussing his order, he realized they were preparing fried rice with dog for him.  He told them no, he didn’t want dog.  With three wait staff people there he kept trying to get them to understand “beef,” at one point even mooing at them.  At that point everyone laughed.  Finally he gave up and just said “fried rice with chicken.”

They brought him plain fried rice.

We ate our food, had a good time, and enjoyed life.  What else can you do?  And we even left them a good tip, even though tipping is not done in Vietnam.  Heck, they carried the baby around for us and entertained him while we ate, and that was worth a tip.

A few notes about Ho Chi Minh City.  It seems to be more modern than Hanoi, with many skyscrapers, broad boulevards, etc.  At least the part we saw, which was just from the airport to a hotel downtown, plus what we saw from the air.

The broad boulevards are filled with the same kind of traffic as in Hanoi, only worse.  Is that possible?  I just can’t get beyond the traffic in this country.  I have been told there are only three rules to driving here.

  1. Never stop.
  2. If you don’t have a horn, don’t leave home
  3. Try not to hit anyone.

I will be glad to get back home.  We should get in about 9:30 Saturday night, but our bodies will think it is 8:30 Sunday morning.  It may take a day or two to recover.

Posted in Travel, Vietnam | 2 Comments »