The past month has been filled with wedding things and travel! Yay! June 5 was Jenna’s bridal shower, the 12th was Julia’s bridal shower and the 19th was Matthew and Megan’s wedding.
On the 21st, I left for Vietnam. Our plane was turned around after we left Chicago for a problem with oxygen on the flight. I’m not sure how a plane works, but not enough oxygen seems like a strange problem to me. Since there were no other options to get to Hanoi that night, we had to spend the night in a hotel and we left again on Tuesday. We arrived late on Wednesday night and made it in time for the second day of the conference on Thursday. The large conference seemed to go well – probably close to 300 people or more there!
On Friday we left for the private meeting which was at Xuan Thuy National Park. Look it up these coordinates: 20.259943,106.562576 on Google Maps. You’ll be able to see a little of what I’m talking about. The people there have highly modified the natural environment there. To the point that it’s no longer natural. They have created a LOT of aquaculture ponds in which they raise shrimp, crab and other fish. The people who are there make a lot of money off of these products, so the costs would be too high for us to do a project there which would involve a mangrove restoration project. Farther inland there is a LOT of rice production which is also done in an unsustainable manner. In southern Vietnam, these products are less developed than they are in the south, so we may be able to help the government create legislation and projects which help to protect the natural environment in the south.
We were in Giao Thuy through Sunday for the meeting and then headed to Hanoi that afternoon. Once in Hanoi, we were able to visit a market, walk around the Trúc Bạch Lake which is where John McCain was captured during what the Vietnamese call the “American War.” I didn’t know this, however, until now.
We also went out for dinner at a restaurant where we ate everything from buffalo to crickets. It was delicious! We ordered 14-15 different dishes between the 7 of us who shared everything which was great.
On Monday we flew to Hong Kong where we were able to visit a few markets and watch the nightly light show in the harbor that night, too.
Tuesday was a 34 hour day as we flew back across the date line. Wednesday I slept for most of the day, and Thursday I drove back to PA for Jenna’s wedding preparation. Her wedding was Saturday, on Sunday I met up with Tina for lunch before driving back to DC. Elvis and I biked to the University of Maryland Sunday night to watch the fireworks which was fun.
Yesterday it was too hot to do anything, so we spent most of the day relaxing around the house. Now I’m back at work for another full week…