After 21 hours, I arrive in Vietnam!!! It feels like I am dreaming. It still hasn’t registered that the “real” work is about to begin. This “purpose project” seemed like something so far in the future and the amount of work it took to create was beyond anything I have EVER done in my life. It consumed every part of my being… The miracles that happened along the way were incredible and only validated this “calling” that was so heavily imprinted on my heart back in June. I didn’t realize I had it in me to push through the way I have and to manifest what I did as well as involve an entire community that was just as anxious as I was for it to begin.
Before I left, many of you took the time to write me a message in my purple journal (above). I didn’t read any of it until I sat on the plane and THEN, it all hit me. This has brought out so much love and kindness in every person that I know, which is truly something beautiful. I warned the people next to me not to worry if I start to break down and as I read your messages, these warm tears of joy came running down my face (and a BIG smile) and before I knew it, I was high up in the clouds. I used to think tears were a sign of weakness and now I see it as strength. It takes courage to cry, to let it out and to release the emotions we hold within, especially when we try to be so strong for so long. Tears allow you to be renewed and to see with new eyes. The amount of love written in that journal is something I will cherish forever and will get me through the tough times along this journey.
My brain feels like a balloon that is about to explode! It has been SOOO much to take in and absorb in such little time. There is not time to waste and you have to process everything so fast from getting around town, the bus system, to the currency (Dong) and it’s all in the thousands and millions!!!! AHHHH. It does make me a millionaire!! $1 USD= $21,000 dong. Yup, my first trip to the ATM about gave me a heart attack when I went to take out a few MILLION dollars! I have been trying to organize my thoughts to sit and write to you all but I have been beyond exhausted and am forcing myself to the computer to get it all out… Tea on my right, notebook on my left. Here we go!
Arriving in Vietnam (Wednesday 11/5 @ 11:35) and seeing my name on a sign brought a smile to me face. Normally, I choose (yes, I like to live on the edge 🙂 to arrive abroad without booking a room and the process of getting my bag, exchanging money and leaving the airport gives me anxiety as the jet-lag and disorientation kick in. My skin soaks up the humidity like a sponge and the hazy sky gives off a mysterious feel. The drive to the volunteer house was about 30 minutes and soon I was signing more paperwork and getting settled into my room which I would be sharing with 3 other ladies (more details and pictures about the house in the next couple posts). Most of the volunteers were out on their projects so I ended up having lunch with the staff. We had an amazing table filled with everything you could imagine filling a spring roll with! A couple hours later people trickled in and I found myself overwhelmed and forgetting the names of everyone I had just met!! I need some name tags! Next, I got a mini-tour of the neighborhood with Caitlin, who just arrived from Scotland, to get an idea of where the local market, ATM and other useful places were Before I knew it, I was on the top bunk, out like trout!
*Sorry I am so behind! My eyes are starting to close and it’s only 9pm! More to come! Get ready!!