Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ho Ho Ho Chi Minh

I just wrote this whole thing, then the internet messed up and deleted it. I'm so mad!
Ok, the main points of that blog:
We are out of Ho Chi Minh! Thank God. I hated that city. But I LOVE the rest of Vietnam! We're in Quy Nhon right now, which is a tiny, quiet, clean, city on the coast. We can see the beach from our hotel. It's lovely! Our bus broke down five hours into the 12 hour ride here. They had to send a new bus from HCM, so for the six hours we had to wait we rented rooms in tiny bungalows right on the beach. It was the bluest, most beautiful water ever! None of us had bathing suits so we all swam in our underpants for hours. The fishermen thought we were crazy. We didn't get to the hotel til three am but whatever, we got to sleep in the next morning.
Today we went to the crazy eco uber-resort today. A bungalow there costs as much as a small country but it's so worth it. Gorgeous! I've given up all dreams of changing the world. I'm going to be a trophy wife and live there forever. It's not as green as they market it as though- they just want the rich people who stay there to be feel like they are being socially responsible. They burn all their trash!
After we went to a meeting with an organization to help families affected by Agent Orange. We've been learning a lot about the Vietnam War (Resistance to the American Invasion per the Vietnamese) and Agent Orange, but it was the first time we've worked directly with people affected by it. It was awful. People here don't really understand it. They told us that if the parents had known the kids would have had these birth defects they wouldn't have 'brought them to life'. They said it's so hard to be the parents. Many of the kids were essentially babies in the bodies of nineteen year olds, but not healthy nineteen year olds; nineteen year olds with twisted bones, stunted growth, and sores all over their skin. The government sometimes give scholarships to the affected kids who can, technically, go to school, but it only amounts to about $30 a year. They ask the US government for reparations but nothing is happening. When I see what people here are going through as a direct result of Americans, I just don't understand how excited they get to see us. They are so, so stoked we're here. Everyone we see, especially the kids, yells 'Hello!' when we pass, and giggles and takes pictures. They love us. It makes me feel so, so, guilty for what I am. There are birth defects everywhere. How can they forgive us that?
We've had tons of seminars and all, but I don't feel like rewriting all that. I'm stoked for Christmas! We're going to a nice resort for the day. It'll be awesome. Happy Holidays! Love you all!

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