Saturday, March 3, 2012

Sunday, March 4th

Personal:  Happy Birthday, Josh! Perhaps I will find you a birthday gift in Vietnam...Don't think they have any snowboarding equipment here.
Met Dr. Kay Avant, my co-faculty, last evening. I was in my lounge dress and half-asleep. I am hoping she is able to get that first impression out of her mind!  I was able to sleep until 1 a.m. but then was wide awake. Decided that it would be wise to utilize the sleeping pill Rx that my Dr. gave me. I took 1/2 and was able to sleep from 0200-0600 when I swear I heard a rooster crowing outside! It's "voice" was not as robust as Dan's rooster so I think it must be a smaller variety living on someone's rooftop.
My room here at the Bat Dat Hotel is quite comfortable although the electricity to the room turns off when you take your key out of the slot by the door (see picture). When you lift the key out, the electricity shuts off. Guess we could learn something about conservation from the Vietnamese people. That means when you return, it is pretty warm in your room. The hot water heater only turns on when you hit the correct switch but it doesn't take long to heat. The hotel includes a buffet breakfast free with the room fee. I chose to be safe this morning and had 2 eggs with toast. The eggs actually looked as good as Dan's--brown eggs with bright yellow yolks. I will be a little more adventurous for lunch today.
Professional: As I said previously, Kay and I will meet with the UMP nursing faculty assigned to our course at 2 this afternoon. I have my lecture pieces all prepared. Kay will be the lead faculty since she has taught this course before. That makes me feel less nervous. She was happy to hear that we will have a translator in the classroom since they did not and it was very difficult. Of the 5 students total who met me at the airport yesterday, 2 spoke English well, 1 fairly well, and 2 not so much. I would guess that might be indicative of how the overall class will be. The students were very kind and respectful but fun. When I told them that I really hoped that we would be able to go to a beach one said, "You wear bikini, Dr. Linda?!" When I said, "No. This body has not been in a bikini in a lot of years!" they all laughed and tried to convince me that I should.
Re: culture, this is an observation from my waiting time in San Francisco at the boarding area for Philippine Airlines and then on the flight. The flight was originally scheduled to leave about 9:15 p.m. but was changed to 11:30 p.m.; consequently there were a lot of people waiting in the boarding area. I saw many elderly, somewhat disabled people being lovingly tended to by young relatives. For example, a young woman (~ 22-23 yrs old) was helping an elderly gentleman in the bathroom. He had a walker and seemed confused but she very gently tended to his needs in a respectful and loving manner. I saw similar examples on the airplane to Manila. In the middle of the night, a tiny, "bird-like" woman was obviously distressed--making almost chirping sounds--and her young female relative was calmly walking her around the plane while murmuring gently to her. The devotion to family was apparent all around me.
I am looking forward to our city tour later this afternoon. The cacophy is unbelievable--horns honking constantly and motor bikes weaving in and out. I wonder how many fatalities occur on these city streets...We have to cross the street to buy bottled water later this morning; send us your prayers!!
Tomorrow will be very busy with our first day of class so I may not get back to this until Tuesday evening.


  1. sounds like fun so far, and I know it will continue! For me the urban culture is often the most difficult adjustment, learning to cross the street takes on a whole new meaning!

  2. You are literally taking your life in your hands! We avoid crossing if at all possible or go to a light which many vehicles seem to ignore.