Playing in the park in Saigon
This park was buzzing with activity when we were there. People were exercising, dancing, riding their bikes, etc. A lot of people were playing with these things that looked like badminton shuttlecocks, but had feathers on the end of them. You kick it around like it’s a hacky sack. Lennon has been dying to play soccer. (He has been asking if he will be with Coach Dean this summer- his coach from last year that he LOVED.) Lennon settled for playing the new game, but we will need to find a soccer ball soon!
We are actually in Cambodia right now and when we were out to dinner we saw that the US beat Costa Rica! It looked like a snowy, hard fought battle.
War Remnants Museum
Not many pictures here to post- it certainly didn’t seem right. The museum was once called something like American Atrocities Museum, but was changed to War Remnants Museum. It is heavily one-sided and anti-American. Both sides, obviously, played dirty at some point or another. The photos made everything around you disappear and get quiet. They were moving, horrible, graphic, sad, confusing… When people are put in situations where they are fighting for their lives (mentally, physically, emotionally) on a daily basis- things are bound to get ugly, in every sense of the word.
What I get from visiting these museums and sites where battles have taken place- is that war doesn’t seem to solve things. They rarely end well or happily. There is always severe, never-ending damage where not only the soldiers, but everyday citizens end up suffering for as long as they live. For both sides, that war was devastating.
While we were in the museum, people were looking at us. A couple times I had to say something to the kids (they recognize an American accent) and a few people looked at us with disdain for being American. I wanted to tell them they were missing the whole point of museums like this. We shouldn’t dislike each other just because of our nationality, religion or skin color ya’ weirdos! If we can’t live in peace and harmony, we should at least be tolerant of others so we don’t continue killing each other in wars.
A temple in Saigon
This temple was hot and sticky inside. They had fans directed at the statues to honor them by keeping them cool. I lingered at a lion statue for quite some time to get some air. Hope that doesn’t bring me any bad karma.
Angela- I found a new spin teacher for FitOn!!!
In a park in Saigon (now called Ho Chi Minh City) – they had lots of workout equipment. People were really going for it. This woman was on fire- her little legs were going a mile a minute! Feel the burn, baby!
This little guy looked like he was ready for a business meeting!
We were at a restaurant in Saigon when Emerson saw something run by the back table and it was this tiny guy. He was all fancy with a little tie on. He had a blue plastic bag that he made into a comfy bed. Man, we miss our Kiko!
Old tires- many uses
Contrary to what some people might think, I do have a little fashion sense (especially when it comes to footwear and I refuse to wear “sensible” shoes as long as I live!) The sandals in the photo are made from old tires and, no, I didn’t buy any. The Vietcong started making sandals from tires because they were so durable. A man near the tunnels was making these shoes and selling them for about 4 bucks a pair. He was using tar and he had a fire going. It appeared he was melting parts of the shoe together and putting a hole through the soles to attach the rubber straps.
The Vietnamese are very resourceful people. When we were near the coast, we would periodically run over 6-10 old bicycle tires in the middle of the road. Our cab driver told us that the fishermen put clams, crabs, snails, etc. – anything with a hard shell that needs to be cracked in the hollow of the tires. Cars drive down the street and run over the tires, breaking the shells but not crushing what’s inside. How efficient is that?!
Brutal conditions for both sides!
Being in the tunnels, I couldn’t help but think of the people who were forced down there to survive- having to do everything under the ground in hot, stinky tunnels just hoping that they wouldn’t be bombed and collapse (which did happen at times.) People fighting during the day and trying to keep their families safe at night. Then I think of the American soldiers with their ridiculously heavy gear, combat boots, mosquitoes biting them, the heat, the unfamiliar terrain, the enemy coming from out of nowhere then disappearing into thin air, having to worry about traps, child soldiers… It is amazing the conflict went on for over 17 years.
Emerson and Maddux are asking about the politics of it all. Who made the decisions? Were the American people behind it? The effects of Agent Orange. Lots of impromptu history lessons going on all the time. The main ‘take-away’ at the end of some of these heavy days is that war is stupid! That is my wording, not the kids- they are much more eloquent than I am.