Well, we are back in Kona!
Our last two weeks in Viet Nam were very busy. When we arrived in Ha Noi, just 9 weeks ago, we knew no-one, as we began to develop some contacts from the 3 telephone numbers we had this changed rapidly. We are now exiting this phase of our training and leaving Viet Nam behind. Now there are so many people to say “goodbye” to, all hoping that someday there will be a reunion, on this side of heaven. There was so much favour, God opened doors and many things happened that were beyond our wildest dreams. The country has very quickly become one of our favourite places away from home. For us, standing out from the many highlights was witnessing the joy and the power of the early church at work. Viet Nam is indelibly etched into who we are now.
When we came back from the trip to Sa Pa, we were winding up our english teaching and english clubs as we began preparing to leave.We had lots a special meals with good friends, one included crab! Actually,
there were many celebrations and parties arranged and attended. It was more difficult than usual to get around the city as traffic was building in anticipation of Tết holiday. The sidewalks, or pavements, normally cluttered with motorcycles were now filled with crowds of peach blossom branches and orange trees leaving us no option but to walk on the street. The trees are the Vietnamese equivalent of our Christmas tree. We see them frequently being delivered to the buyer’s home by motorcycle. Tết is the Vietnamese Lunar new year which began on Feb 19th this year. The holiday lasts a full week in Viet Nam with many businesses closing up as people travel to their family home in the country. We were leaving on Valentine’s Day, Feb 14th, and there were many of our new friends asking us to stay longer, but University of the Nations and our “graduation certificates” were calling, as was our family back home.
Some of our English club friends got some extra English practice by acting as tour guides as they showed us some of Hanoi.They took us to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, which includes a museum and the grounds of his home. The history of Viet Nam is very interesting. We also visited the Temple of Literature, a 1,000 year old university. Glenda visited B52 lake with some students from another English club, it is site where a B52 bomber crashed during the war with America.
Part of our team debrief took place on an overnight excursion to Ha Long Bay, literally: “descending dragon bay”) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tuesday and Wednesday. This is a spectacular site, we cruised on a ship, visited a cave and Glenda went to a pearl farm, while I kayaked.