Observations in Vietnam

We are in the beginning of the third day of our educational classmate PC program in Vietnam. The US volunteers spent literally the whole first day travelling to get here. A couple of us left from Phoenix on Monday to meet with a third US member of our team in San Francisco the same day.

We arrived at our destination – Ho Chi Minh City Tuesday night after 11:00 pm. We were extremely tired from the plane trip, but extremely excited about the pilot program and meeting our three Intel Vietnamese counterparts.

The first thing that I notice about HCMC is how crowded and alive the city is atnight. Motor bikes and taxis completely dominate the streets with motorists driving in controlled chaos. As a pedestrian, one must be quick and decisive when crossing the streets or else…

The second observation was how humid it was. Being an Arizonan, I’m somewhat used to the ‘dry heat’. Somewhat I said. In HCMC, the temperature was about 85 degrees Fahrenheit with an astounding 94% humidity. I’ll tell you this; there is no comparison between 110 degrees in Phoenix to the weather in HCMC. The heat combined with the humidity in HCMC just seemed to stop you in your tracks. The three of us from the US couldn’t drink enough water. It was like taking a shower with your clothes on.

The last observation of our first few hours in Vietnam was how friendly the citizens are. During the plane trip, at the airport and at the hotel, people would smile and welcome you to their country. It seemed as if they had a personal stake in us enjoying our time spent there. The gentleness of the people was so surprising because I didn’t expect this level of kindness displayed in a city of 8 million people.

On Wednesday morning, we ate breakfast and were led on a quick tour around our hotel area by one of our Vietnamese peers. Again, cat-like reflexes and sprinter’s speed were needed to go from street to street. During the day as with the night, motor bikes and taxis fill the streets. While on the tour, we endured about 10 minutes of heavy ran coming down from the sky…from a 35 degrees angle!!! Seriously!

On Wednesday afternoon we took another plane trip to Quang Tri. This is the first of two cities where will be setting up wireless internet connectivity and teaching students and teachers various educational software packages. We will utilize classmate PCs to deliver the educational software to the students. Where HCMC is a fast paced big city, Quang Tri is a conservative rural community. We’ve yet to explore Quang Tri. Thursday morning, our plans are to travel to an orphanage to continue our journey. Stay tuned for more from Vietnam…

7 Responses to Observations in Vietnam

  1. Jodi says:

    Sovinti – thanks for sharing. Had no idea you were on a trip to Vietnam. Will pray for your safety – stay well.
    Jodi

  2. the middle child says:

    how does it rain at a 35 degree angle????!!! are you pulling our leg?
    your two weeks there is going to go fast so make sure you take loads of pics so we can see this experience thru your eyes!

  3. Brandon Neilson says:

    I’m glad to hear that the start of your journey in Vietnam is going well. You should try living in Florida or Georgia for a bit; from the sounds of it the humidity there would have adapted you for HCMC in no time! Keep us posted with as your journey progresses and watch out for that traffic. Hopefully your cat-like reflexes will keep you out of danger!

  4. Gary Gilbert says:

    Sovinti,
    Glad you made it! Sounds very exciting and challenging at the same time. The rain part of the story reminds me of Forrest Gump, lol. Take care, I will keep up on the blog. If you need anything stateside let me know. I will keep you in my prayers. Be safe!

  5. d'shombe says:

    FIRST, GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR TEAM’S EFFORT TO MAKE THIS WORLD A GREATER PLACE. SECOND, YOU HAVE ALWAYS BEEN THE GREATEST ROLE MODEL FOR ME COMING UP,SO TO KNOW THAT I GET TO SHARE MY BROTHER WITH PEOPLE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS EARTH…..I AM PROUD!! AS I READ YOUR BLOG I COULD ACTUALLY SEE EVERYTHING YOU WERE DESCRIBING….I FELT THE HUMIDITY AND I MIGHT OF EVEN WALKED ACROSS THE STREET HERE WITH A LITTLE BIT OF A “QUICK” STEP TO AVOID THE HCMC TRAFFIC! I THINK IT IS AMAZING WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND SEEING…AND I CAN’T WAIT TO HEAR ABOUT ALL OF YOUR ADVENTURES. AS ALWAYS BE SAFE, BE GIVING…AND BE WITH GOD!
    **BREEZE**