Posted by Emily Block | 0 comments

Vietnam (Day 2)

   Internet is severely dodgy again so these may be sent out of order since I have several  entries in my outbox right now.  

I was a bit grumpy when I was woken up by someone slamming into our door in the early morning, but soon realized it was meant to be because there were hash browns served at breakfast!  haha  It is very exciting on this ship when something unusual and tasty is on the menu!

After some noms, I met up with Hannah and Courtney to do some shopping before our service project FDP.  They were both getting dresses and saris made so our first stop was to a tailor.  It is really cheap to get things made here!  We went to a more expensive place and it was still only $26 to make a dress out of already bough fabric and $55 to make a dress using the tailors fabric selection.  If I didn't already have ten zillion dresses I would have gotten one made as well.
Then it was shopping time!  We set out to visit a market we had heard about but got distracted by a minnie market where we spent all of our time.  I got some more movies, some of which sadly need to be returned because they don't work, and browsed through the knock-off brand American clothes.  

We went back to the ship to eat lunch since it is free and all.  Today must be bonus day because they were serving PIZZA!!!!  I haven't had pizza in like months!  I ate way more than usual and happily retired to my room to rest and digest.

The service project we went on was to the School for Deaf Children just a few blocks away from the boat.  I'm learning many of these service projects are not quite good examples of service learning, but they sure are fun!  I really do enjoy kids.  They are so enthusiastic about everything!  It makes life more exciting when I hang out with them. :0)  When we first got to the school, the lady who runs it gave a short talk about the school and a crash course in sign language.  I think I forgot everything except how to ask what the kids' names were.  Then it was up many flights of stairs (yay for midodrine!) and on to the room where the kids were waiting.  We split off into informal groups around the room to get to know each other.  The teachers passed out paper for us to draw on.  One of the kids really liked cats so I drew him one and then his friend one, and probably about five more.  :0)  I brought my picture book which turned out to be a hit with the kids.  They taught us some sign language by pointing to the picture and then showing us the sign for it.  One of the kiddies discovered my camera and now I have a memory card full of awesome silly pictures.  I was sad when one of the teachers made the kid give me back the camera.  I guess they weren't allowed to play with them.  If the teacher only knew how many times I have dropped that thing, she would know it was in safer hands with the students!  haha  
Then it was time for a field trip to the zoo.  I swear I have never seen so much excitement!  We all loaded onto the bus to drive the few blocks there.  There was much yelling and general enthusiasm going around.  Once at the zoo we took a snack break.  I thought it was funny that not even the kids would have anything to do with much of what came from the ship.  Mystery meat is gross even when fun dip is considered a food group.  

I was using my chair and I thought it was really cute that the kids all thought that I had to use it because of my hurt wrist.  They all wanted to know what happened so I showed them a bendy wrist in my picture book and their eyes got really huge.  I took the brace off to show them that it was ok now.  

As usual, I pair up with the most difficult (aka awesome) kid.  He very much enjoyed screaming pinching my arm and stealing things from my bag.  He was definitely the most excited and helpful though.  He took it upon himself to help push my chair (and run it into things to see me make my surprised face) and make sure that I could see all of the animals.  He definitely had a well defined personality!  I didn't bring out my bag of toys because everything was so hectic, but I managed to discreetly slip him a toy plane at the end.  He promptly took it apart.  :0)  

Everyone except four of us piled back on the bus and headed back.  Hannah, Courtney, and the other Hannah stayed to finish touring the zoo and get eaten alive by bugs.  The zoo was cool in the sense that we could get right up close tot eh animals, but sad in the sense that the animals didn't seem to be well cared for.  The cages were far too small for most of them and many had sores or displayed signs of anxiety and boredom.  

We thought this river otter was funny because it looked like it was playing dead.  
Sad face.  :0(

After the zoo, our fearless leader, Courtney, guided us to a restaurant that had come recommended in a guide book.  We finally found it and it was worth the walk!  We definitely didn't speak the same language as our waiter, but ordered with only a few mishaps.  We got barbecued beef which we got to cook right on the table!  It was a little dodgy to use the same wooden chopsticks to pick up the raw and cooked meat, but hopefully we will survive.  :0P  I thought it would be a good idea to try some of the peppers on our table once I was done eating.  It was a good idea because now I have a hilarious video of me freaking out about how spicy it was.  I only touched the thing to my tongue and it felt like I had burned a hole in it!  So funny!

Look Grandma!  Vegetables!!!!

After dinner, it was just a few blocks to the hotel where we would catch the shuttle to our bus.  We had to cross the street a few times on the way and now I have some video of us almost getting run over by some scooters.  So much fun!

I opted out of another movie night tonight for an early bedtime.  Can't wait for tomorrow!  


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