There are so many things that have gone on in my life since my last blog that I don't even know where to begin. I've developed and gotten over two small crushes, watched and enjoyed a movie I swore I never would, bargained with and fussed at little Vietnamese market women--and the list goes on. Needless to say, my trip to Viet Nam was full of new experiences. I can't figure out what to talk about first, so I'll just try to give a few glimpses of the most important parts of my trip.
Without a doubt the most awesome part of the visit was our overnight excursion to the Mekong Delta region in the extreme south of Viet Nam. We rode a traditional boat along a stretch of the river, stopping at a couple cool shopping shacks along the way, plus a lovely house-cum-restaurant that's been inhabited by the same family for over 300 years. Our river tour culminated with a stop to hold Anacondas (yes, I mean the huge constrictor snake!), followed by a hike through the countryside and into a village by the main finger of the Mekong River, where we jumped back on the boat for the journey back to our bus.
Ah yes, the bus. That was insane. On the way to the delta, we were blasting music, and I ended up in a dance-off with Kris while the whole bus cat-called. That was weird and exhilarating enough, but when we trooped on board from our river adventures, music was again blasting, except this time the driver turned off the lights and switched on built in strobe lights as we drove. Why in the world this bus came equipped with strobe lights, I have no idea, but we literally had a party bus! It still seems like some odd thing out of a movie, but it sure enough happened. Dancing with everyone crammed into the aisle of a moving bus was hilarious and entertaining beyond belief.
We got back to Saigon the next afternoon, and I, along with Aaron and Maurice, took motorcycle taxis to pick up the custom-tailored suits we'd ordered earlier in the week. Our three drivers were nuts, and it was a ton of fun just getting there. On top of that, all of our suits were perfect--we didn't have to get a single adjustment after trying them on. I have to say that my grey skirt and blazer with white pinstripes is quite flattering. I'm excited to have something professional for interviews and such--especially for only US$120!
Once our exclamations over our own attractiveness was done, we cruised over to the internet cafe, where the three of us ran into Kris, and decided to take a 30 min motorcycle ride around the city as a last kick before our farewell dinner. That was pretty cool, but we cut it close to time for dinner, so I had to run up to my room and practically perform a magic trick to get myself looking like a girl again after all the sweating in my sports bra and t-shirt. I hustled though, and made it back down in time to walk with everyone else to a really nice buffet.
As we filtered out of the restaurant after dinner, I ran into Shawn, who mentioned he was going bowling. He invited me, and that proved to be wonderfully fun. Dr. S, Andy, Dave, Shawn, and I played a fierce two games. Well, more like they did, while I tried to wrap my brain around the basics of bowling. The good news is that I now understand how to do it correctly, thanks to their tutelage.
The weirdest thing about this day? I spent almost ALL DAY with guys. What? Leann Wolley? Since when? I know--when I realized it, I was in shock. I'm so excited though. Getting to know guys and be their friends has always been a tricky business for me, and this intensive exposure is probably the best practice I could get. Plus, the guys on this trip are really interesting, gentlemanly, and fun so far. Yay for personal progress!
Those measly few paragraphs are woefully inadequate to express the eye-opening and relationship-building that happened over this two-day period. Suffice it to say that it was a turning point in my friendships with most of my fellow Pepperdiners.
Oh--I also got a cold, but that's on it's way out, so no worries! My schedule is crazy right now, with all the stuff I left undone before my trip, but I have faith it'll all work out. Anyway, time for our group dinner--have a lovely evening, everyone!