Monday, May 13, 2013

Day One

Today started at 6 am with a stroll to the co-op (basically a super wal-mart) in 90 degree weather and 94% humidity.  Walking down a street in Ho Chi Minh is like nothing I've experienced before.  The streets are overflowing with motorbikes going all different directions-some with 3 or 4 people piled on them.  There are stop lights at every corner, but if you don't feel like waiting on one it seems like the normal thing to do is just ride right up onto the side walk and continue your journey.  

After that, we headed to the University of Economics and Finance.  The students there greeted us with dancing and presents, and it was so exciting to see what a university is like here.  After a few introductions, and some embarrassing dancing on my behalf, we headed off to our first language class. Compared to Vietnamese, English is a piece of cake.  Today we covered the very basics like vowel sounds, consonant sounds, "Hello, my name is...", and "Good-bye, see you later."  It took us an entire hour to learn these two sentences and I still can't say them correctly!

By now it was lunch time so we left the university, went to an outdoor restaurant just a little down the road, and back to the hotel for a quick wardrobe change to get ready for our trip to the United States consulate.  I wasn't sure what to expect of this "field trip", but ended up learning a lot about the government relations between the US and Vietnam.

The jet-lag started to really kick in around 4 pm so we took a quick dip in the hotel pool before heading to dinner at Wrap and Roll.  I have never been served so much food in my life.  I was pretty full by the time the fourth or fifth plate of wraps and rolls came out, but it just kept on coming so we kept on eating.  

I was fighting falling asleep the entire bus ride back to the hotel and had full intentions of blogging and heading to bed, but the Vietnamese students met us at the hotel with their motor bikes and sleeping was no longer an option.  I hopped on a bike for the first time and into the congested streets of Ho Chi Minh City.  IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!!!!  We took a trip around the block before sitting down and getting to know each other better over some ice cream.  Now we're back at the hotel and I'm about to head to bed.  Can't wait to see even more tomorrow!

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