Friday, October 3, 2008

Early Morning in Nha Trang

Hello Everyone,

Just a quick update as I can't access my emails again! We had an early night last night after a long drive in the bus from somewhere (?) to Nha Trang. It took in most of the central highlands but we travelled along the coast. We had a swim in the East Sea (South China Sea) which is very flat and pale blue. Hau, our delightful guide, waxed lyrical about the beach but it had nothing on Tomakin or Shelley's Beach!

We also stopped a the My Lai village memorial museum. It was disturbing and sent us all off for a bit of quiet time while we prayed and pondered on mans inhumanity to man. There were some good stories as well but it mainly was a graphic display of an atrocious action.

The drive was fascinating - a wonderful way to see the lives of the ordinary Vietnamese people going about their business and their countryside. It is so green and cultivated - rice, corn and green vegetables everywhere, water everywhere and people working the fields with docile animals everywhere! We were excited to see the way they transported their animals on their ubiqutous motorbikes - wrapped in cane baskets. We even passed a buffalo being carried in this manner as well as lots of pigs, hens and a few young cattle.

Nobody seems in a rush and they all seem to smile. It was comforting to see such tranquillity from the windows of our airconditioned comfortable coach. After My Lai it was great to see how the people just got on with their lives without an hatred or anger to westerners. We are greeted everywhere with big smiles and genuine happiness. They seem to know we are Australians and want to know about "Sydney". They tell us that a lot of young people want to migrate to Australia or visit but it is almost impossible to get the paperwork.

After an early tea in the luxurious dining room, Dympna and I went for a little stroll along the promenade. We found a "Bishops House" quite close by so we ventured in and tried to find our when mass was in the morning in the chapel. It turned out to be a seminary and we were advised mass was at 5am.

This morning we went to mass, felt very at home and then walked back along the promenade as the sun was rising. Not often I see sunrise these days!! I prayed for all my family and for the Vietnamese people.

We are off for a cruise on a lake today which includes snorkelling and an onboard massage! After that we have been recommended to have the mudbath that is a speciality of our hotel. We are thinking about it! Hau says that everyone takes a photo after you come out of the bath as you look so much younger! - It made us more accepting of the opportunity!

I am beginning to feel homesick. Just like to have a roast chicken and some baked veges. I would love to be at the Shutters this weekend with my sisters!

Hope all is well with everyone. Love and Blessings

Vietnam Gem