Week 12+ – YWAM Kona, At the Crossroads – this ain’t Kona, Toto!

This ain’t Kona, or even Kansas, Toto! It is Hà Nội, Việt Nam. The pace of life has changed, 7.1 million live in this city. It feels like the busiest place we have ever been, but I was surprised, when checking Wikipedia, to discover that the population density is only 1/4 of that of Santiago, Chile. Ha Noi is very different from our own life experience, almost everything is new and our senses are being stimulated by the food, the traffic, the people, the red and yellow, and our eyes and hearts are open to all it has to offer.

DSC_0816IMG_5728Our first morning, waking up in our rented apartment/, provided us with a view across West Lake, Tây Hồ locally. The sunrise rivalled many sunsets in Hawaii, the beautiful colour due to the morning mist. Work begins early and ends late, construction starts at about 5 a.m. and can continue late into the night, seven days a week, lots of manual labour and no sign of a 40 hour week for many of our neighbours. Almost every home has a business operating out of the  ground floor rooms: coffee shops next to granite cutting, next to moped repair and Phở restaurants, mini-Marts and vegetable shops. There are areas ofDSC_0913 town that seem to specialize in one thing so you will find Camera Street, Toy Street and Shoe Street in the Old Quarter.DSC_0863 All over the city, mopeds and bicycles, pedestrians and cars, buses and taxis all compete for space on the road. After the first week the initial sense of total chaos is fading and it is interesting, as the patterns become clearer, to observe how well the traffic really flows. We have seen up to 5 people riding one moped, mopeds towing trailers full of sand and dragging hundreds of pounds of rebar behind them. Mercedes, BMWs, Lexus, three Bentleys and an Aston Martin crawl by in stark contrast as they push their way through the traffic; the buses are an awesome way to get around town, just 7000 VND (U$0.33) and they come every 15 minutes.

The city feels very industrious and yet many take time to sit with friends at one of the many places along the street to enjoy a cup of Ca Phe or green tea and people watch. Everyone we have met has been very friendly, there is a great national pride

In many ways we are experiencing a lot of freedom and lightness of spirit, there is genuine openness to Tây, westerners. There is a growing middle-class in Vietnam, we regularly see joggers and recreational cyclists passing our home on their way around the lake; many tourists are visible in the Old Quarter; and there is a sense of hope and power.


Lots of Power!! 

That’s all for now, until next time be blessed and be a blessing, A&G.

Some pictures from around town…


Anti-smoking campaign?


Girls waiting!


Flower patch


Construction site


Cardboard re-cycling 🙂


Our tree!



3 thoughts on “Week 12+ – YWAM Kona, At the Crossroads – this ain’t Kona, Toto!


    Thanks for the pictures and your update as you adjust to this new lifestyle away from our Chinooks and temperature plummeting. Part of my family is getting together to celebrate Christmas on New Year’s Day due to my flu on Christmas Day. I was hoping we could celebrate on Jan 6 (Little Christmas) but work and school interfere. Nice way to start off 2015 though! Blessings Millie

    Original Message —–

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