A CONSTRUCTION BARGE WORKING IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD BUILDING A BRIDGE ACROSS ONE OF THE MANY CANALS BUILT DURING THE COLONIAL PERIOD AND STILL USED FOR MUCH TRANSPORT. This canal would be used by smaller boats used by family businesses that ply the rivers moving materials and goods from one place to another as well as being floating homes.
In a few days on July 19th we will be privileged to be at the dedication of a new stadium and sports facility at the University. We have watched in the little over three weeks that we have been here as the complex is near completion. The work on the facility has been carried on night and day and in a couple of pretty serious rain storms and winds. The football stadium is beautiful with a carpet of green and all the markings as if the first game were going to be this Friday rather than a big celebratory grand opening and dedication. The new complex is across the street from our room and just north of the swimming pool that is about 10 yards from our door and where we take a dip upon occasion. Below is a picture less than ten days ago that illustrates the work that was still to be completed and yet in just three days we will attend the opening. Wow!
In the picture of a couple of days ago you saw the students, Leanna and I having coffee sitting on stools out-of-doors on a sidewalk --- they call this a sidewalk Coffee and it is very popular with young students and workers in the downtown area. It is strange to have it juxtaposed with a very little distance away shops like Christian Dior, Armani and others that are located in an area where there are wealthy tourists and management for the foreign owned businesses.
IF YOU LOOK BETWEEN THE FINISHED BUILDINGS ON THE RIGHT AND LEFT YOU WILL NOTICE THREE GIANT CRANES INVOLVED IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF NEW HIGH RISE APARTMENTS OR BUSINESS BUILDINGS AND THIS IS ONLY ONE DIRECTION.
The rate of construction that you observe as you travel in several areas of the city remind you of books or scenes from movies documenting the building of the big European and North American cities during the second half of the 1800s and the early to mid-1900s. Not to say that there isn’t much construction going on in the rest of the world right now but honestly this seems like construction on steroids with a frenetic pace. Many women work on construction here, as we have noted, but probably they are nowhere near a majority of that work force.
On the other hand in a large shopping center where we shop a lot, Lotte Mart, there are literally hundreds of employees at work at all times, well all the times that we have been there. Not just your normal people stocking inventory, moving things around, and cashiering but in almost every aisle there are workers posted to help shoppers find items or giving out samples of food etc. One sampler was for cold beer --- something I haven’t seen being distributed in sample cups in US stores. Curiously missing from the shelves of the big markets are vitamins --- perhaps they will be found in the next mall that we visit whenever that may be.
The above picture is a portrait produced by an artist on a bamboo "curtain" inside a frame and over a red background which you can't see here except as a tinting of the picture. If the vertically hanging curtain/s are moved then the background comes alive. The principles are Ton Duc Thang on the right and Ho Chi Minh on the left.
Next week we will be on a faculty/staff trip to the coast where we will stay in a nice hotel and make use of the beach and other facilities. The entire faculty/staff make this sojourn at least once a year together to build team feelings and participate together in team-building games and exercises and we are looking forward to this opportunity it meet our co-workers.