Day 7

Dear Mum,

How is everything going back home? Are the dogs behaving well? I hope they’re not causing too much trouble. Did you buy a Powerball ticket? I heard it is over a billion dollars!! I can’t believe it- that is just a ridiculous amount of money. Like what is one supposed to do with all the money?! I can’t even wrap my head around that huge of a number.

Saigon has been a pretty amazing city so far. We did a few touristy activities such as visiting the war remnants museum, the Reunification Palace, and exploring the Cu Chi Tunnels.

To take a break from all the walking around and listening to tour guides we were able to have the opportunity to volunteer at the Christian Brothers school. Honestly, it was such a great experience. I remember when we walked in the smiles on the students’ faces just glowed. You definitely could tell that they were very excited to see us and interact with each and every one of us. What really stood out to me during my time at the school was this little girl who sat next to me in the class. I was observing her geometry class and I pulled out my journal and pencil case. The little girl asked to see my pencil case so I handed it to her to look at. I will never forget the look on her face when she opened the pencil case. She was amazed by the amount of pens and markers as well as the different variety of colours. I felt so bad because here I am with a pouch full of writing supplies and on her desk all she had was ONE pencil, ONE pen, ONE eraser, and ONE white-out pen. That is all she had for probably the whole school year. I’m assuming her favourite colour is purple because her face definitely lit up when she saw I had a purple ink pen. She started writing with it and she expressed this type of interest that for the pen. She gave me me back my pencil case, but I told her she could keep the purple pen. Her reaction when I told her is permanently tattooed into my head. She was unbelievable happy that I let her keep it and wouldn’t let me leave her sight for a second. I know we always donate items to the less fortunate and feel good about ourselves for doing a good deed, but this was different. I personally delivered it to her and was able to see face to face to see her reaction when she receives it. It was just a very touching moment.

Oh em geezy, Mum- you would not believe what kind of restaurant we ate at last night. We basically had dinner in the dark. It was definitely an experience. The cool thing I liked about it was that it actually opens job opportunities for people who are blind. All the servers that worked in the dark room, which was the dining room, are blind. It really made me appreciate that fact that I can see but also it was cool to be able to strengthen my other senses for once.

Anyways, I’m on the plane now on our way to Pleiku. Our flight was delayed by an hour or so, which was relaxing in a way that we didn’t have to rush to get to the gate or to eat something before getting on the plane. Pleiku is a small city in the central highland, which apparently is an important location for the U.S. military during the war. This is where the American Army and Air Force was stationed. Pleiku is also near the border line of Cambodia where the Viet Cong was stationed and did a surprise attacked on the Pleiku airbase anddamged it completely . Till this day there is still some remains in the grounds from when the U.S. was there.

All in all, I have been having such an amazing time her in Vietnam so far. The food, the culture, and the war history that it holds have been fascinating to be around. In Saigon, I surely made lifelong memories that I will never forget and learned a lot that I can’t wait to get back to tell you all about it. Thanks so much for letting me experience this trip. Hope everything is going well at home- miss you! We’re about land soon in Pleiku and need to turn off my computer so I’ll talk to later.

Love,

AK

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