29 June 2010

After Encore's big annual Student Concert - I flew to Las Vegas to see the sites and sounds with Heather from GA!!! Oh my goodness, the bond & friendship from March 2007 after adopting our babies from Vietnam would be an amazing blessing far greater than I could have ever predicted. Thank you God for hand-picking the family we would share "Labor and Delivery" stories with at the MOST exilerating journey to our daughter!!
Thank you HEATHER for your love & friendship. I can'twait to see you again asap!!!
Here's Heather and I ready to take a bite out of the BIG APPLE of NYC :)...haha

Here's a bird's eye view of the Mirage Hotel from our room!!! Ahhhhh

Heather is the SCIENCE buff with excitment in learning enough for the both of us!!!! This is HOOVER DAM - wow, what a site to see in it's magnificant beauty. It was so enormous, awesome, raw and stunning!!!
Yes, laughing, singing, jumping around & asking questions are the BEST ways to learn, esp. with friends!!!

Almost every night we were there, we would walk to the Bellagio for the DANCIN' Lights & Music show!!! It was so magical to see the syncronized song and lights twirling together like a ballet at the Opera. The dancer in me stood in awe and amazement as much as Heather probably did at Hoover Dam!!! Isn't neat how we are all different but can appreciate our passions, uniqueness and diversity in humanity???
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22 April 2010

Missing Saigon...

It's hard to believe I was in Saigon just over a week ago... It feels like yesterday and yet a lifetime ago as well...
I think I will always feel like I have ONE foot in the States and ONE in my homeland of Vietnam.
I will always remember this journey back to my homeland with Denise.
God went before us, was with us and continues to show us more of WHO He is in us today...our hearts...our memories...our lives....

It’s been bittersweet to see the way of life here again on this side of the ocean, city life is so, so poor, dirty and desperate
desperate locals looking for money to find next meal...
desperate homes needing renovation...
desperate economy needing restoration…
desperate hearts needing God...

Here's a picture with our new friends that we made, some from a boys' home/ shelter in the heart of Saigon...precious, sweet, generous people that opened their hearts and home to us. Thank you!!!
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13 April 2010

Spirit of Saigon & Mekong Delta

As you can see, there is just a few things you can carry by bike or scooter...we took a bunch of pictures of things carried around town. The Locals are VERY creative and resourceful in getting around town and carrying what they need!!!! I don't know where the time went but we are heading to the airport soon for our return flights back to USA!!!

One of the highlights of our trip was going down the Mekong Delta by bus, boats and "canoe." It was VERY humid and hot...no exception from the city life. The Mekong Delta people are VERY primitive and had water buffalo and fish in the "pond" on the property.

We didn't buy rice hats here but had some given to us during our Mekong Delta tour. You can see the Asian side of Denise come out with this rice hat on her head!!!! :)

We got to see, taste and buy coconut candy made on the Mekong Delta Island. It was an interesting yet simple process for them.
We were humbled to see how simple the VN people live. We are grateful the rich nation we live in, it's hard to explain without seeing with your own eyes how VERY poor Vietnam is still today. I will write more later...time to sign off...xoxo Ms. Saigon
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09 April 2010

Thurs 8 April 2010 - My orphanage

The days are starting to run together and i don't know the dates anymore...but right now it's FRI PM here in Saigon, but FRI AM in USA??? I'm writing about Thurs. PM but your Thurs. had not happened yet...haha!????

We went with another Hoi Duc Anh (HDA) adoptee, Tricia (on right)...she was @ HDA only 2 mos. as a baby and then airlifted out in 1975. But, we have gone back together in search of anyone/ any information at that time.

We got a tour of the orphanage with Ms. Phung (on far right) and she is partially blind. She didn't start working at HDA after 1985 (which is now a School for the Blind after Saigon fell). She didn't remember me of course but did run into the "cook" at HDA that WAS THERE since 1970's - remembers the 200+ babies/ kids in my orphanage in the mid-1970's!!!!! Ms. Chau told me that she cared for the kids 7 yrs. of age and older so she did not remember me either. She speculates I was there at HDA since infant/ birth...but since i was a toddler, she didn't recognize me or remember anything about me whereabouts when at HDA. Ms. Chau was so sweet and i told her i would come back to see her in a few days (if/ when i had more information or questions.)

We had a photo shoot and DNA meeting and it was GREAT to hang out with fellow adoptees, sharing stories and hysterical and historical memories.) It's really pretty overwhelming and indescribeable to meet/ greet adoptees from my "hood," my background, my timeframe, etc... and here their stories, struggles, blessings...Wow. God has had His hand in all of this...i just sit back and watch Him at work. Yay God....

I don't have a group picture from last night dinner with the VN adoptees yet online but here is a pic. of "Bong So" (i don't know at all) = VN crepe-like thin pancake...stuffed with foods i don't know or like...haha. Actually this one had bean sprouts and shrimp, it was interesting... but Denise actually really liked it. We at the "Night Market" with about 10-15 other adoptees...it was a great bonding night and time together!!!

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07 April 2010

WED 07 April 2010

Wed. we went to Dam Sen Park in HCM (Ho Chi Minh) City, District 11 where we met several UK VAD (VN adoptees) and one VAD from Austrailia, Germany and Sweden. It was really neat to meet them and start to hear their stories. 3 of the VAD were ON the plane that crashed in early April 1975 when Saigon was falling. Wow, that is amazing...again looking in the face of the God's handiwork.

Here is the group, I will try to name them from left to right, back row to front: (back) JoKim, Peter, Le Thanh, Victoria, Patrick, (middle) Kim-Lan, Safi, Emma, Dominic, (front) Tricia, Jackie

The park was really pretty, made a large loop where there was gardens, pagoda houses, engined & paddle boats and even a small amusement park. We hung out there almost all day, it was SOOOO HOT & humid. It was probably 90's in temp & 90% humidity at least.

Here's a cool dragon from the garden.

It appeared to me the UK VAD had already met up/ communicated much before the trip. They had established friendships and it was appearant there was a silent bond in place.

How awesome is our God to reunite VAD from around the world, scattered from a result of a chaotic, crazy time of the VN War!!! God DOES make beauty out of our messes... "And we know that for those who love God ALL things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose..." Roman 8:28

06 April 2010

We made it to Saigon!!!!

Well...after 24+ hrs. of traveling and 3 flights from DFW to Seattle, then to Seoul, then onto Saigon...we made it. We made through all securities and check points... My first entry point into Vietnam was greeted by a VN custom man very upset with me that I had a VN name, USA passport, back to my Homeland and no speaky VN= he not happy with me. But, we made it through and then look for David Nguyen since he arrived before us, we were going to taxi to the hotel together. However, in the sea of 300+ VN locals looking for their party, I had NO idea where were going to find VN adoptee!!! I think all Vietnamese people "look the same same." (ha ha)

Then thankfully out of NO where, Anh Dao found me and Denise!!! David was with the welcome group by this point too, I was SO relieved. I KNEW at this point, we were going to be OK :). Like clowns packed in a car.... Anh Dao, Tricia, Jo Kim, David, Mike, Denise and I (PLUS the driver) got into a MINI-van to head to Sanouva hotel. (YES, 8 of us plus all of our luggage in trunk & on laps!!!)

After settling into our room and getting rest, we woke up to look at our hotel views...here is outside our window looking down from the4th floor, narrow alleys, horns honking and simple living here.

Right below our window looking down was VN locals making Pho soup on the streets. We opted for the hotel buffet for breakfast instead which included pureed "vegetable" soup, fried rice, eggs, seafood spaghetti, jack fruit, watermelon, juices and "cafe su da" (Yummy VN coffee, just like how Don makes for me.)
Well, we are off to meet some VN adoptees and go to the park...signing off.
xoxo Ms. Saigon
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April5-6, 2010  No night fall here on plane

we are at Seoul and I'm struggling头typethis message in English。 I am on a provided
free Internet computer and it's inJapanese。 Hence, the symbols that婆婆 show up。

为head头saigon浓雾,ha ha 。。。。We leave soon - justwanted 2 say hello, chao ban!!!!

xoxoxoxo please hug my babies and tell them how much i love and miss them!!!!!

see you in vietnam...
ms. saigon :)

05 April 2010

Saigon bound....

I think i'm still in shock that the time has come for me to head to airport for Saigon, VIETNAM. I've waited and anticpated this trip for months and now departure time is upon us. I am traveling with my friend, Denise, who has 2 daughters beautiful, adopted daughters - now teenagers!! One is from Vietnam and one is from India, they are precious and amazing young ladies!!! I am not sure how i feel...I am groggy froggy for sure right now but getting ready to head to the airport. Our first leg will be to Seattle, then Seoul, Korea, then on into Saigon, VIETNAM. Please pray for us, our safe travels, health and whatever God wants to do in our lives through this journey.

I will keep you posted should you be interested to see Vietnam through one set of eyes, these orphan eyes.

Signing off now...See you Saigon!!!