Sunday, December 30, 2012

Day One/Two: Departure from San Francisco and Arrival in Vietnam

We all arrived safe and sound in Can Tho, Vietnam (pronounced Can Tuh) after a wild 24 hours of traveling. Our flight from SFO to Taipei, Taiwan was a 14 hour roller coaster ride. A good portion of the ride was pretty bumpy, but luckily I was able to sleep through most of it. Upon arriving in Taipei, Taiwan, we all got to wander around the airport to enjoy some duty-free shopping, and then it was back on the plane, which unfortunately was delayed for two hours with everyone already boarded due to a computer that needed to be replaced.  We finally arrived at Ho Chi Minh City, and after gathering the 32 boxes of supplies and the rest of our baggage, the group loaded up a bus and made the 4 hour treck to Can Tho. 

 The ride to our hotel was not only a good way to get to know the rest of the team better, but to also get to know the country as well. We got to see the madness that is the city of Ho Chi Minh, but also the way that people here live, either in shanty houses on the side of the road or amongst their rice paddies.

About half way through the ride we stopped at a restaurant on the side of the rode and got some food to eat. I was very excited to eat my first out-of-the-US meal. Among the adventurous eaters were my dad, Henry, Bruce, and a few others who decided to dine on a full deep fried fish. My palette, however, decided that a simple dish of chicken and fried rice would do just fine. In addition to the fish, Henry also down three coconuts full of milk!

From there on we enjoyed more of the scenery and another two hours of our drive, and finally arrived at our destination, the Golf Hotel, which overlooks the amazing Mekong River. A group of us decided to go out for a walk around the city and enjoy some fresh air. Tomorrow will be an early morning; we will be screening our first set of patients at 8:30 am.

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