Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Important sites and new tastes

We spent our first night in Can Tho last night! We are living in the international dorm at the edge of campus. Right now I'm rooming with three other girls, but that could change depending on when the new rooms are ready. We have a large common room where our beds are, individual lockers, a fridge, a desk (speckled with what seems to be dried bird poo), a toilet, shower, and sink. Our beds come with mosquito nets, although the rooms are pretty tightly sealed. I think I'm going to try and find a foam topper for my bed, because the beds are about an inch thick. The Hello Kitty bed sheets make up for the lack of mattress for now. I definitely see potential for this room. It just needs a little love and maybe a poster or two. At least we have Game of Thrones to keep us company!
Comfy Cozy

Before we got to Can Tho we had our last couple days in HCM. Friday night some of the girls went out to dinner after a short day of orientation. We went to Secret Garden which had a beautiful view of the city. The power flickered on and off with the occasional flash of lightning. There is a lot of lighting in Vietnam and the rain pours down in heavy sheets. Later that night I was really tired, but I rallied to join the group at SkyBar. SkyBar is a bar that sits atop a skyscraper in the HCM city center. Everything has been pretty cheap in the city, but SkyBar is close to matching American prices. It was definitely the most lavish/poppin bar I've ever been to. We got a HUGE bottle of Ciroc and danced for a few hours. The other guests at SkyBar pretty much kept to their own table, but our group moved around the bar dancing in any open space we could find. It was a late night, but totally worth it.
Dinner on a rooftop 
We spent all of Saturday doing touristy stuff. We went to Cu Chi to see the underground tunnels that the guerrilla fighters of Cu Chi built during the war. Cu Chi was a heavily bombed area during the war and is about an hour outside of HCM. The villagers of Cu Chi responded to the US invasion buy building an elaborate system of underground tunnels where they would live during the day and surface during the night. The guerrilla fighters set up traps, such as home made land mines and pits filled with spikes. The experience felt like an amusement park more than a historical tour. People would take pictures next to old tanks and the tour guide was making jokes throughout the tour. I've noticed that the tours we have been on so far (the palace and the tunnels) have glamorized war and definitely tell one side of the story. We crawled through the tunnels, which was quite frightening at first because the space was about 3ftx3ft and with very dim lighting. I couldn't imagine living down their, but some Vietnamese lived in the tunnels for ten years. The next portion of our day was spent at the American War Museum. The pictures captured during the war were incredible to see. What was most interesting and saddening were the pictures of people affected by agent orange. Still to this day their are kids being born with birth defects due to the poisonous gas that was dropped during the war.
Crawling around Cu Chi tunnels

A destroyed forest

The effects of agent orange

A trap at Cu Chi \tunnels

After the tours we had an AMAZING lunch at this restaurant that offers a variety of street food. Once we got back to the hotel I slept for at least 12 hours. The jet lad has been better now that I'm in Can Tho and I've been in Vietnam for a week. I've written this blog over the course of a few days, so I've actually been in Can Tho for about four days. I'll be sure to be posting about that soon. For our core class we have to keep a blog with a themed question every week, so my next blog is going to be a little different. 

Love to all,

1 comment:

  1. Kaitlan! I just found your blog. I miss you! I hope everything continues to be an adventure for you. I'm currently sitting on the couch with Fox beside me. Your presence is 100% missed here, and also I think the apartment misses your organized definitely. But don't worry, things aren't falling apart and we're holding it down for you. ( I haven't forgotten about the inside of the trash can :) )

    Continue being kick ass and keep the pictures coming.

    We love and miss you here!!