A few days ago we took our family to a place in Vietnam called Sapa. There are several minority ethnic groups that live in small, very rustic villages in the mountains and grow rice in terraces cut into the mountainside. They dress in traditional clothing that they make themselves. It is a beautiful place.
The ONLY way to get there is by overnight train. A special train that makes lots of abrupt stops throughout the night. A train that has some kind of animal or bug eating your complimentary crackers on the table right next to your tiny bed. A train whose air conditioner that might go out in the middle of the night and whose conductor pretends to be asleep and ignores your pleas of “Em Oi!” (hey!) to fix the air. A train that you board at 8:00 pm and exit before five the next morning, bleary eyed but excited about your adventure. A train that, despite all its issues, is an absolute wonder for children under the age of 10.
Despite the rain, we were able to get out and explore the villages and town of Sapa. It was surprisingly cold, but we welcomed this after 100 degree heat in Hanoi!
Back at home we had a very busy week to end a great school year. Matthew had a big role in a school play (really an operetta) – he was the narrator in The Three Nanny Goats (kind of like The Three Billy Goats Gruff).
Anna created a video about how to buy fresh chicken in Hanoi. Right by our house is a woman selling fresh chickens (she butchers them right on the street). We’ve passed by it daily and marveled at how different food production and distribution is here from what we’re used to at home. There is no doubt that we are eating some of the freshest (and most tasty!) food. And by the way, Anna edited this entire video by herself!
After school one day we took a family walk around our neighborhood and found more interesting things, as ever. The summer short haircut is very popular here.
Michael and I are saying goodbye to our friends, too. The good news is that in order to get to see everyone in the coming years, we will have to travel to other parts of the globe….
On to Burma on Friday…. then Thailand…. then Cleveland, OH!