Wednesday, April 15, 2009



Alright I’m sitting here trying to decide if I should go back and blog on the countries I missed and I think I should. Each one was soo different and I experienced too much to not share with you guys. Even though I’m writing this during my transit to Hawaii, I find it important to share. At least the major points of what I experienced…

What a hott/humid country Vietnam is! I did not expect to HAVE to shower twice a day there just to feel comfortable… Lol! Anyways, I do have to say I learned A LOT, soo much about the war and the people… I felt angered and sad after leaving Vietnam, or even while I was there. Angered at the fact that I was uneducated on the war and on the after-math it had on the people there. I went to the War Remnants Museum there and that was an emotional 2 hours. We weren’t taught a lot of what was actually done. We always only learn the American side to the story if even that, and it angers me! I could not believe the pictures I saw and things I read in that museum. I felt embarrassed to be an American. I never learned what Agent Orange was or about the torture American Soldiers did to the Vietnamese soldiers and civilians. It broke my heart to see that people are still suffering from the effects of being exposed to agent orange and how many children were born with deformities and disabilities because of it. The blood left on the Vietnamese soil is still visible left from our country. I had soo many questions walking through that museum, most of it began with “WHY?” Why did we do this? Why did it happen? Why wasn’t I taught about this? Why? Why? Why? Soo many questions unanswered….

I left the museum speechless, timid, tearful, and sad. My friend Braxton and I went together and we didn’t even know what to say to eachother. We felt horrible and just had to leave… I went to the Cu Chi Tunnels the 1st day and the museum the last day. If I would have went to the tunnels after having been to the museum my experience and outlook would have been totally different. I could not imagine how they lived in those tiny tunnels for soo long. I couldn’t stand maneuvering through the one we went in for longer than 5 minutes… It was an awakening for me as most of the things I have witnessed on this voyage have been…

I’ve learned that I have to seek the knowledge I want and am yet to learn. Nobody is going to teach it to me. I have to go out there and learn about it myself. I want to know more and more and more. Even if it is the horrible things that happened in the passed, I want to be aware of it. I would rather be knowledgeable than no nothing about the war or culture.

Yeah Vietnam was definitely an eye-opener. I did do more than learn about the war. I had a positive experience with a few locals that spoke no English and I speak no Vietnamese. We found a common ground though and communicated with hand gestures and expression. It was an interesting experience, one that I will never forget. They were soo excited to meet us though. I also had a chance to see the Mekong Delta and experience the floating market. I tried all sorts of fruit and saw a different type of life I ceased to know existed. The Mekong Delta was great to see… The food I had in Vietnam was fabulous! A lot better than the Vietnamese food I’ve had in the states that’s for sure lol! The people were AMAZING!!! I could not believe how open-armed they were to us …

My mind is overwhelmed with experiences from Vietnam. It was an emotional, life-alternating, self-educating, and challenging experience all-together for me. Vietnam is in my heart and I am soo grateful I had the opportunity to visit such a country of great people and tragic history.


It is May 21st and we are already going to be in Vietnam tomorrow just 2 days after leaving Thailand. It is getting really difficult to keep up with school and process all the information and my experiences soo fast. One day we are in India, a few days later in Thailand, and now Vietnam. The time really flies by, it is crazyyyy!

Anyways, I am trying not to fall behind in my journaling and blogging so I got to write and keep writing whenever I can. Thailand was a relaxing port for me. A LOT different than our last port (India). I did not get a chance to make it to Bangkok, but I did go to the island of Koh Samet and spent most of my time also in Pattaya. Two very different parts of Thailand! They informed us about the sex industry in Thailand and told us we would see it while we were there, but I was in no way prepared for what I saw. I have never seen that many sex workers in my life! It was soo bad! The area where I saw them in was in Pattaya by walking street. This is where the nightlife is at and is like Vegas, but more intense. Some students say it is even crazier there than Amsterdam? I have never been there, but yeah, Pattaya was like nothing I have never seen. I have to admit I had a good time partying out there, but it definitely took a toll on me seeing all those young women, looking not much older than myself, working the street and strolling off with old foreign men. It was terrible!!! =/

On another note, the Thai people were very nice and helpful. I was surprised to see how many people spoke English. I had the chance to spend a day with a Taxi driver that my friend and I paid to take us around and tell us about the culture and people. His name was pronounced like “Clack-Clack” but I’m sure that’s not how you spell it lol! He was GREAT! Took us all around Pattaya and even had dinner with us, told us about his kids, and his thoughts on the sex industry in Thailand. It was really nice having a local with us to show us the good places to go and see. I think I learn soo much more from people than seeing actual sites… I can appreciate the culture a lot more and develop a greater understanding of the people.

The massages in Thailand are the BEST I must say so myself! I had two while I was there and they were both great! If you ever go to Thailand make sure to get one! I recommend the oil massage! A little uncomfortable at first, but trust me, you get over that part fast and it is really relaxing.

I also had the chance to go see some animals in Thailand and I got the chance to hold and feed a baby tiger! It was great! A little scary, but I’m happy I had the chance to do it. I just didn’t appreciate how they treated the tigers there.. They seemed enclosed in a small space and yeah don’t want to get into the rest.. I also held a baby crocodile! That was pretty cool! Very rough texture to the scales/skin, whatever… lol…

The island of Koh Samet was a beautiful place! Nice clear water that was almost like bath water, and very warm. I went banana boating there which was quite an adventure… All of us came out with some form of injury and I lost an earring I had just bought! Oh well… It was worth it.. That overnight trip was very peaceful and relaxing, a nice getaway from the city… Overall Thailand was a super nice place to visit. I don’t know how I feel about everything I saw there, it’s a lot to process and some of it makes me really sad. The people I encountered were super nice and welcoming to me. Many people thought was Thai actually and I received soo many compliments on my short hair haha, it was nice. Thailand was a great start to the East-Asian countries we will visit. I’m going to miss it….

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