Day 2: Now things get real and wonderful


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Today started with all of us finally arriving in Ho Chi Minh city just after midnight. It was hot and humid and while air conditioned beds awaited us,
viagra sales see we first opted for a quick celebration of our arrival by sharing a few beers and stories of the nearly 24 hour journey from our little island on the other side of the Pacific.

After a few hours of much needed sleep, click we got to be tourist in the busy city of Ho Chi Minh.

After a wonderful breakfast in the hotel’s rooftop restaurant, remedy we bravely crossed the street filled with racing scooter and honking horns, to the bustling market where you can buy almost everything from “designer” watches to crazy looking fish, fruits, meats and herbs. The Vietnamese people are so friendly and happy to share their stories and, of course, sell you their wares. The sounds are as thick as the heat.

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After the market, we made our way to the Revolution Museum to learn more about the rich history of Vietnam and the city formerly known- and in some circles still called – Saigon.

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Then it was a cool beer or two followed by a lunch that can only be described as magical. Rich colors matched with complex flavors – savory herbs like basil and morning glory mingling for rich meats and not-so-subtle spices.

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Then it was off to explore the city filled with culture and history around every corner. The ancient and modern coming together seamlessly.

We will wrap up today with a group dinner and an earlier bedtime because tomorrow we take another plane to Quang Tri providence and the real work begins.

To see more pictures, visit our Flickr page: www.flickr.com/groups/gracepeacetrees
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It has been difficult.

It has been difficult to find time to write down all that has been seen and experienced over the last few days. It has been difficult to capture the emotion that we feel moment to moment, cialis canada try jumping from tears of joy to tears of sorrow. It has been difficult to take this all in and then adequately bring justice to it in this post. To sum it up, cialis usa pharm it has been difficult to truly understand the power of people and what we have done to each other in the past and what we do now to come together in healing.

The Power of people was first seen in a healing form at the Peace Trees Land Mine Education Center. Surrounded by trees planted by Peace Trees donors in honor of those who gave there lives in the war, site it is truly a place of peace with soft light, singing birds and gentle breezes.

Inside the Education Center, innocent drawings by children hang on the walls depicting the reality of living in an area littered with unexplored ordinance and the effect it has on their daily lives. The horrors of war are seen just sitting on tables as a gentle warning of avoidance.

Outside, we pick up shovels and hoes and begin the process of planting 30+ trees. The soil is red and has an organic, sweet, citrus smell that clings to our shoes and gloves. It is fairly easy work as the holes were already dug, allowing time to listen to the songs of the woods filled with the hum of insects and song of birds.

Then we saw witnessed the Power of healing when we visited the Peace Trees village and met with a Kindergarten class that sang for us and then visited with families that had survived land mine explosions. They all greeted us warmly and with love in their faces.

Next, we saw the Power of destruction as we witnessed first-hand the controlled detonation of collected ordinance. The brave men that fearlessly collect and safely dispose of hundreds of bombs and land mines every year were there to share their stories.

Day 4 was a rapid tour of schools built and sponsored by Peace Trees donors. The faces showed the Power of hope. Young and old faces were smiling, happy to greet us and sing. The emotion was raw and real to our Western eyes.

Then we had the honor and privilege to participate in the ground breaking of the new school we are sponsoring the construction of. The Power of cooperation could be seen everywhere but most strongly through the Women’s Union, elder minority tribe women and Peace Trees staff.

I have found it quite challenging to deal with and process all these sources of Power. I have laughed. I have cried. My eyes have been opened by these experiences and I am forever changed.
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Today started with all of us finally arriving in Ho Chi Minh city just after midnight. It was hot and humid and while air conditioned beds awaited us, viagra buy viagra we first opted for a quick celebration of our arrival by sharing a few beers and stories of the nearly 24 hour journey from our little island on the other side of the Pacific.

After a few hours of much needed sleep, best cialis we got to be tourist in the busy city of Ho Chi Minh.

After a wonderful breakfast in the hotel’s rooftop restaurant, we bravely crossed the street filled with racing scooter and honking horns, to the bustling market where you can buy almost everything from “designer” watches to crazy looking fish, fruits, meats and herbs. The Vietnamese people are so friendly and happy to share their stories and, of course, sell you their wares. The sounds are as thick as the heat.

20130306-171937.jpg

20130306-172146.jpg

20130306-172327.jpg

After the market, we made our way to the Revolution Museum to learn more about the rich history of Vietnam and the city formerly known- and in some circles still called – Saigon.

20130306-172439.jpg

Then it was a cool beer or two followed by a lunch that can only be described as magical

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. Rich colors matched with complex flavors – savory herbs like basil and morning glory mingling for rich meats and not-so-subtle spices.

20130306-172558.jpg

Then it was off to explore the city filled with culture and history around every corner. The ancient and modern coming together seamlessly.

We will wrap up today with a group dinner and an earlier bedtime because tomorrow we take another plane to Quang Tri providence and the real work begins.

To see more pictures, visit our Flickr page: www.flickr.com/groups/gracepeacetrees

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Today we truly entered Vietnam. After a day of the busy, generic cialis for sale jet-lagged, cialis buy hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City, we were all ready to get into the county to really see Vietnam. And we did. And it is more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.

We flew into Dong Hoi airport, located just off the coast in Central Vietnam in the Quang Binh province. This area was completely destroyed in the war but now is filled with new houses and landscaped boulevards.

We then took a harrowing bus trip two hours South on the Vietnamese version of an interstate which is really a bumpy yet paved 2 lane road where our drivers masterfully dodged motorcycles, bikes, trucks and vans. Along the way, we drank in the beauty of the Kelly green rice patties filled with plastic bag “scarecrows” and the egrets they were trying to scare. Homes built on soft sand and orca orange soil have the most magnificent family gardens filled with banana trees, peppercorn plants, watercress, and cava. A smattering of Water buffalo, chickens and Peking ducks complete the visual scene.

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And then there are the beautiful characters. The Vietnamese have an infectious and glorious warm smile. After all they have been through and continue to struggle with, they are so genuinely happy.

Our bus tour concluded in Dong Ha in the Quang Tri providence. This area was the former home of a military airbase and fifty years ago was a gray landscape of stick trees and dead plants cleared of foliage by napalm and agent orange. Now it is green and lush and filled with activity.

We walked through the market drawing attention from everyone there who are still getting used to seeing tall, blonde Americans. Lots of warm smiles, “hellos”, and hesitant stares as we lingered over live chickens, fresh produce and woven baskets.

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There were magical interactions between our group and the farmers and children. The kids were quick to follow us and laugh and try out their English which included hellos and some choice swear words delivered innocently and with joy and love. Bill Harper, Rector at Grace, even attempted to show a yo-yo trick to a child who was so in awe of him that neither one could really focus. It was beautiful, emotional and 100% real human interaction.

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The day concluded with a fantastic meal with the Peace Trees Vietnam staff and Madam Thuy, President of the local Women’s Union. It has been a day filled with memories.

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One thought on “Day 2: Now things get real and wonderful

  1. Kati

    Vietnam looks wonderful! I can’t wait to hear about the rest of your adventures while you’re there!!
    Kati

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