Sunday, October 18, 2015


Sunrise on the way
With a long overnight fly, we flew from LA International on a  mid-night Wednesday morning flight arriving in Vietnam on Thursday morning - lost a day! We were tired but feeling the adrenalin power when Ms Vinh met us with a wonderful smile, as bright as the sunrise that flooded our airplane shortly before we touched down in Taiwan. We had last seen Ms Vinh 20 months ago in February of 2014 if you don't including skype(ing) with her.

Towering Clouds to the South
And it was a spectacular dawn as these photos show with a colorful display of cloud formations that constantly changed as we jetted along at about 540 mph over a dark ocean. Here are a couple of pictures pushing the dream to reality.

 Our ride was a Boeing Aircraft 777, one of the newest ships flying on the co-share airline of Vietnam Airlines-China Air-Delta.  FYI: Economy met our needs and we flew 13 plus hours on the first leg of our journey.  The second leg on down to Ho Chi Minh City was pretty much 4 hours from lift off to re-entry so we spent somewhere over 17 hours airborne.  Leanna slept a fair amount but truthfully I didn't get much shut eye even though I attempted sleep.  My big excite for many hours was watching the life "Three D" video presentation of our progress complete with the miles traveled, elapsed time, and other not very important data that didn't shorten the hours or the trip.

A little earlier.

Enough of that.  Once we reached HCMC and jumped into the waiting van with Ms Vinh we were off for District 7 of the City and our University, Ton Duc Thang University (TDT) named for the 2nd President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and a hero of the Vietnamese people. As we approached TDT we could see the two new buildings that have been completed in our 20 month absence.  These buildings are next to Building B, where we worked on our previous visit and where we will have office space again this time.  Ms Vinh accompanied us to our new dorm room that is situated under the football stadium seating.  We moved in a little bit and then walked through the new buildings and visited the new student Canteen/cafeteria on the 10th floor of one building.  More on that in another article along with pictures.  Dean Hoa of Lao Dong and Cong Doan took us to lunch -- first taste of delicious food! We wandered about the campus for a while finding some old friends and just appreciating the opportunity to work again at TDT. Then we CRASHED to sleep.

Friday morning (which was Thursday for us) we felt a lot more refreshed and ready to go.  At 9am we met two friends who are teaching labor studies here, Joe B. and Helena W., and attended a collective bargaining simulation starring their students using a Vietnam plastics factory scenario written by Joe and Ms Helena.  It was well played out by the students and was both interesting and fun to be there as visiting instructors.  After the class was over Ms Leanna and Ms Vinh took off to go buy material for a new ao dai for Leanna and arrange for tailoring.  About 4pm we all attended a pre- Women's Day activity sponsored by the Union. The activity was a cook contest where the male staff of the many departments had to cook for the female staff.  It was fun to watch the men work away making food and hoping to win the award for their department.  The food was delicious and good looking.  Of course, after the judging we also ate the food and it was fun to go from table to table sampling and enjoying it.
Ms La and Leanna
LD&CD food contest preparation team
In the picture to the left we have Leanna and Ms La, one of the directors and founders of the University and the former Dean of our  Faculty of LD&CD. On the right you see the staff of our department who prepared, without Leanna and my help, our entry in the competition.

Helena Worthen and Joe Berry

Dean Loan, Union President

Saturday we watched part of the football (soccer) match going on in the stadium.  TDT won their game and are still in the running in the 10 day tournament that is taking place here at the U.  Early evening we watched TDT has Talent contest/show and watched hours of the student competitors vying for the prizes.  

No comments:

Post a Comment