Monday, June 29, 2009

Reporting from Viet Nam - June 28, 2009 from Hanoi

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Arrived in Hanoi almost 24 hours after I left my home in Sammamish (Washington). Viet Nam is ready for the AH1N1 (aka swine flu) and the country wants no part of it. I encountered a health screening system at the airport similar to one used for the 2003 SARS outbreak.

Hanoi is still suffering a long drought, and the temperature is in the 40s Celsius (+110 Fahrenheit) and humid. During this summer vacation time, many of the wealthy take off for the beaches to escape from the heat. Others in the city pack the parks and areas around the lakes to cool off. Rolling electric outages are the daily norm.

As the sun is setting, the streets wake up and fill with motorbikes and bicycles. I met up with the TM2F kids (orphans in the Teach Me To Fish Program) and we enjoyed dinner on a fifth floor restaurant overlooking Hoan Kiem Lake. The strong breeze keeps us cool as we watch the jammed packed streets below. The streets in the Old Quarter are closed tonight for the weekend Night Market.

After dinner, I take the kids through the Night Market but we did not last long as the heat and the crowd was quite overwhelming. We stop at the supermarket so the kids could load up on daily necessities and our night ends there.
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