Saturday, October 27, 2007

Vietnam!

We're here! We arrived late last night after sleeping the entire five hour flight. Jet lag is actually going to be almost non-existant with the way things worked out time-wise. We went to sleep after arriving and then woke at 6 am. For those at home, we are 14 hours ahead of you. I constantly calculate the time difference and think of my children at home and what they are doing. It is going to be hard for such a long time without them. At this point, if I had it to do over, I would have brought them all with. We will see if I change that opinion over the course of the trip.

When we arrived last night I was surprised how easy it was to clear customs and get our baggage. There is a great airport here, very easy to navigate. We were met by a Holt worker and a van, which we needed for all our luggage. I tried to explain to them that all those suitcases were not clothing of Americans who feel they need to bring their entire wardrobes on vacation. Several suitcases are gifts and clothing for the children at the orphanage. We also brought an expandable tunnel and Hippity-Hop. (Just for the record, it is not yet inflated! LOL! I can SO see me bringing one that was inflated tho! Actually, if Eric had seen something like that he would have looked at me with complete disbelief and said, "NO! No, no, no! I am not going through airports with a Hippity-Hop!" Hey, I guess every man has to draw the line somewhere.)

Our ride to the hotel was exciting! It was late and dark but as I looked out the window I could tell we were truly in a foreign country! It is beautiful. We drove by a large park and there were many couples cozied up on motorbikes enjoying the evening air. Speaking of air, this is the first our girls have ever felt true humidity. It is much like a summer night in Georgia.

The traffic is not as scary as I thought. Anne--don't worry too much, it is like M. said, there seems to be some sense of right-a-way that we cannot see and lots of honking that seems to let motorbikes know they are about to be hit!

Our hotel is nice. It is overlooking a park where people are exercising and playing badmiton. We will soon venture out there ourselves. The only strange thing that
happened was the hotel front desk insisted they needed to keep our passports overnight. Not sure why but we did get them back this morning.

Breakfast this morning included American fare such as eggs and bacon and more exotic items like tropical fruits, tiny and sweet bananas,and a fruit that is white with black seeds. The coffee was very good.

We are off to do some exploring!

To my sweet boys at home--I love you and miss you so much!

Will, I was excited to hear about the football game and can't wait to watch the DVD when we get home and have you give me all your insights and thoughts on the game.

Tam Biet! Goodbye in Vietnamese!

5 comments:

Gerrie said...

So glad to hear things are going well for you guys and that you made it to Vn. safely.
Look forward to hearing the rest of the trip.
Gerrie

Kelli said...

Wow! You are finally there! Glad to hear everything went so smoothly. Can't wait to read more!!

Gretchen said...

Really happy to hear that you are safely there and did get that important visit in Korea! I can't wait to hear more-- and see some pictures!

Anne said...

Hi gus! I'm the late bloomer finally getting to read about your trip so far. So glad to hear you don't think the crossing the street experience will be too bad! Thanks for letting me know!!

Kim, I met my foster parents when I was an adult and they treated me like their own children too! It is a very unique, special relationship that most people don't get to have and I am so glad that you got a chance to meet yours again!

Anne-Marie said...

Hi Shila,
I'm finally chiming in here. What a wonderful and awesome story of bringing Vu into your family. It's truly great to hear about how much fun he is having with all of you, and you with him! Nice to hear you're learning some Vietnamese too!

On the white fruit with black seeds - it's Dragon Fruit. In the market you would not miss it. It's peel is hot pink with stem-like things poking off of it. Fruit shaped like a skinny football - sort of.

Your passports were taken by the hotel staff because they have to register you with the local police. Everyone in the country (local or not) must register anytime they stay somewhere that's not their own home - even when staying with family or friends. That's Big Brother for you - for real!