My emotions continued to be high as we visited Camp Holloway. I knew from reading and research there wasn't much to see and you can't actually walk around as it is a current base for the army. Just walking in the same area my dad walked 60 years ago was strange. I got in one picture before a guard caught us and told us no pictures.
We also toured the Minh Thành temple and pagoda (learn more). This is such a peaceful place and huge. The detail was outstanding from the dragons, the roof, the gates, it is all so intricate and beautiful.
We had lunch with our amazing driver who took us to a delicious spot for our Thanksgiving meal. Fish soup, clay pot rice, a fish dish with whole small fish, ribs, and so much more. It was amazingly delicious.
Ho Chi Minh
We headed back to HCM Friday. Saturday we brunched at Eddie's Diner, an American restaurant and it was so very good. Best macaroni and cheese I have had in a while. That night we headed to the Saigon Opera House for the spectacular AO show (learn more). It is a bamboo circus, similar to Cirque. It was full of crazy talented acrobats and musicians who performed creative acts that displayed life in the city and countryside. Just amazing and I highly recommend checking it out if you are in HCM, Hoi An, and anywhere else it is showing.
Sunday we took off for a full day tour of the Cu Chi Tunnels and the Mekong Delta. We stopped halfway there at an artist colony run by the government to help those affected by Agent Orange. We saw beautiful oyster shells and egg shell art pieces. The artisans are very skilled in their work and it takes talent and patience to create these works.
The Cu Chi tunnels are still intact from when the VietCong used them to escape, live, and fight. They are very tiny and crazy detailed. We tried tapioca, which I have only seen as a pudding but it is a root vegetable like a potato. It was really good and they gave us a mix of peanuts and sugar to dip it in. I looked it up online and discovered it is a South American product called Casava. Learning new stuff every day!
After our tour we had a delicious Vietnamese lunch at the tunnels. Chicken, beef, soup, veggies, rice and great conversation with our fellow tour passengers. After lunch we took off for the 2 hour ride to the Mekong Delta. We saw so much of the countryside with this tour.
At the marina we hopped a boat over to Unicorn Island. We tried fruits, listened to native songs and instruments, and saw beautiful plants along the way. The mud in the river is rich with nutrients that helps foods grow in abundance, including water coconuts. We took a boat ride down the river. I was terrified before, during, and after. These activities are not made for overweight people with bad knees. Our tour guide and boat rowers were wonderful in helping me get in and out and making me feel safe while in the boat. Konstantin said he looked through hundreds of pictures of us on the boat and only found a couple where I didn’t look miserable. Yea well. We ended up at a coconut candy factory and watched as they made a taffy type candy and coconut crackers. The crackers are excellent! If you are looking for a tour company, I highly recommend Kim Travel and ask for our guide, Mr T. He was so full of information and made the trip entertaining and insightful.
We are back home in DaNang for a few days. Upon arrival we dropped our luggage in the apartment and headed to my favorite Italian place and got a cheese board and pizza, then went to the Turkish place for baklava, and then to the Irish pub to watch the World Cup. It was truly a multicultural night.
I met with my advisor from Fulbright and got more feedback on my website and project. I have some more work to do with organization and details, but it is coming along. I have a stuffy nose, which I often get after flights, so I am trying to take it easy. We brainstormed terms for people who live in DaNang...DaNangians, DaNangers, DaNangsters...
We leave again Dec 3-8 for DaLat and the Fulbright conference. I am excited to see what others are working on and to share my project. I am going to add more to the website and see what the scholars think about it all. I hope to have it ready to share with all of you next week!
If you would like to check out and join the Teacher share portion of my project, you can go to the Flip group: https://flip.com/ee780e69
We have 74 teachers and 7.5 hours of engagement so far in 2 weeks! I am very excited with the turnout so far.
Can you believe it is only 21 more days? I don't understand how time has flown by so fast. I hope to learn more and share more during the next 3 weeks. I kinda don’t want to leave to be honest, but then I get these pictures from my mama of her and diddy at the Farm and I am ready to hug them and soak up all their amazingness. My mama is the best hype man you could ever have and my diddy is the epitome of patient and kind. I am so lucky and blessed that God picked them for me.
Have a great day everyone!