March 7th, 2010 browsing by day


Sunday March 7 Nhatrang. Mission accomplished.

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

I managed to come up with a reasonably good story and pictures of the basket boats and boat construction in Vietnam in general. Very little historical facts are available on the internet in any other language than French, my third language. I have a couple more projects to work on but I am getting restless and I have decided to try and get back to Gig Harbor/Tacoma earlier than my original plan, March 23rd. The main reason being that I will otherwise miss too much of the choir practice for the Easter Sunday mass at St. Nicholas in Gig Harbor. I plan to be back in Saigon this Thursday evening and I should then be back by the 21st, possibly the 14th., depending on the space available and possible appointments in Saigon.

But “partir c’est mourir un peu” as the saying goes. I will be leaving with a heavy heart, I love Vietnam, the people, the culture, the food and the climate. I will be back. It has been a wonderful experience and I am very grateful to my friends, father “X” and his St.Nicholas consort in Cambodia, my travel companion Iris,  Judy B. for her help, my Hanoi companion Maud and the many new friends I made here.

Mass today at the Cathedral was another treat. It was dedicated to all the Nhatrang high school and college students. The first reading today was from the book of Exodus, Moses being told to lead his enslaved kin out of Egypt. God identifies himself as “Iam who I am!”. Dumb question? Coincidentally Moses was put up for adoption in a …. basket boat on the Nile River. I made friends with a Dutch cruising couple in the South Pacific in 2005.  Stephen and Maria Boonzaaijer. Stephen is a Reformed minister. They named their boat after this Exodus passage: “Yo Soy”. Maria grew up a few blocks from where I grew up in Amsterdam,in the Waalstraat. She was raised Catholic. So she is my Antipode. Maria converted to Calvinism I went the other way. Maria and I are a balancing act on the tight rope to salvation with the same Safety Net. I wrote it before but language is not an issue when I can be part with myVietnamese brothers and sisters in the same rituals I am accustomed to and see and hear how everyone participates and knows the liturgy by heart.

I stopped for another cup of coffee afterwards at “le Petit Bistro” and visited Lionel and Thoa Abbondanza and their almost one year son, Lucas. I met Lionel on the train ride back from Tuy Hoa. They live just a couple of blocks from the hotel. Lionel works as a guide for a French travel company and takes groups on a 13 day tour through Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. His office is in Hanoi. I could spend months listening to all that he knows, because of his work and interests, about Indochina.

The tooth ache is still not gone away all together but I have had no need for pain killers for the last week or so. I continue the antibiotics.