Wednesday, August 03, 2011
I am worn out but back in Houston after a wonderful twenty-six day adventure to Vietnam. From the time I left the apartment in Can Tho Tuesday morning to the time I walked into my apartment, thirty-seven hours had elapsed. Taking into account that I got up six hours before I left, I slept only an hour or a little more in forty-three hours. I took a half hour nap this afternoon here but going on history, the next couple of nights will be sleep deprived. It was terrific to have Greg Glenn and Ben Johnson meet me at the airport today with lunch! The three flights were not exceptional except I cannot sleep on the Dallas to Seoul leg, which is approximately thirteen hours, even by taking Tylenol PM. The journey started with a close to four hour bus ride from Can Tho to Saigon and one of the young ladies (Ta) rode with me so I would get on the correct shuttle. In Saigon, Thuy and Hanna, former students of mine, picked me up in a taxi and took me to eat at the restaurant Thuy's family owns, and some other WCS students dined with us. The food was unreal and I ate squid for the first time! Then, they drove me around Saigon and took me to a Galleria-like mall for desserts including the one in the picture with shaved ice topped by ice cream and chocolate. (There were four of these mountains, each a different flavor including green tea which my have been the best!) The seven of them took me to the airport, most of them riding motorbikes through the horrific Saigon night time traffic and it was raining. That was one of the nicest gestures anyone has ever honored me with and I was really touched by their kindness, especially Thuy who went out of her way for me three times during my weeks in Vietnam. (The last photo of me and my students- from left: Hanna, Thuy, Rys, Tommy, Lou, Steven. Somehow Ivey Tran got left out of the picture!)
It was hard saying good-bye to Tom and all those staying at the church building apartment. I became really attached to them in a short time. The older girls want so much to learn English and it was a blessing to teach them. I wrote Dat and Nee each a note and they ran around and had everyone try to translate it. And Tom- there is no one quite like Tom who has done amazing things in Vietnam with the Lord's help. Their church family was unbelevably welcoming to me, a stranger who cannot speak their language. During the next couple of days, I am going to try to shed some light on my trip and some things I discovered about Vietnam and mission work and myself. Thanks to my stand-in blog authors who penned mighty thoughts in my absence!
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Posted by Steve Hawley at 9:57 PM