Vietnam Here I Come!

Yesterday we booked our trip to Vietnam.  We will be gone from March 10-17.  I plan on taking my laptop and blogging as we go – can’t wait to make my first international post with plenty of pictures.

Why are we going? 

My mother is from Vietnam, and we plan on spreading her remaining ashes back in her homeland.  But I also think this will be some kind of spiritual journey for me – almost like Alex Haley going back to Africa in the miniseries Roots: The Next Generation.  I wonder how many of you know what scene I’m talking about?

Growing up, I was never proud, almost at times embarrassed about my cultural background.  I guess it would be a combination of people making fun of my race, not fitting in, and the Vietnam War.  Heck, for the longest time I thought to be American you had to be white just like my father.  However, as I have matured and learned the true definition of an American, I also learned to embrace my heritage and take comfort that God made me this way for a reason – that I’m not  a mistake as I sometimes heard.

Originally I was scared to death to go on this trip, but know I’m looking forward to this adventure.  The thought of flying over the ocean for such a long time, being in a communist country in a land where I don’t understand the language, being away from DogGeeding and HDTV and TIVO, not to mention the water and food was all intimidating factors.  But now, I think it’s time to live life and embrace it.  Time for me to open up my heart and let God do his work.  If something happens, it happens.  My only regret is that Mom won’t be there to tell me everything from her perspective.

saigon.JPG

The above picture was taken at the Vietnamese travel agency we used to book our tickets.  It cracked me up and warmed my heart at the same time.  As you know, Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Minh City when the communist took over; yet many many many Vietnamese still refer to it as Saigon.

We will be flying Korean Air to Seoul (14 hours), then to Saigon (4 hours).  From Saigon we will be taking a 2 1/2 car mile drive to My Tho (pronounced “me tah”), that’s where the family I’ve only seen in pictures live.  I was told the drive takes so long because they can only travel at 30 mph.  Anything over and the police start to shoot to reinforce the speed limit.  Yup, that’s a bit of culture shock and another reason why I’m thankful to be living in freedom.

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