Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Vietnam Day 11

Final days in Vietnam..... It's funny how fate brings people together....8,000 miles and 40 years later we find ourselves dropped in the middle of what I think was the biggest part of the trip for my father....

The man in this video is a Vietnamese General named General Ngyen Etiml Thi.We met him at the hotel where we were staying in Da Lat. His sister owned the hotel and this is how he and my father were brought together after all these years. We figured the general to be around 15 or 16 years old during the war where he fought for the North and against my father. General Thi was wounded pretty badly suffering two to three hits in the leg and another in the chest. He is lucky to be alive, but holds no ill feelings toward Americans, in fact, during this touching moment in the hotel lobby, the two soldiers made peace with each other and the General thanked my father for coming back after nearly forty years....

video

I hope you enjoyed this video.... this is what this trip was all about and I am so glad that my father is now able to let go of whatever troubled feelings he was holding in for the past forty years and move on with the rest of his life knowing what he did in the war was a good thing no matter what the media and governments on both sides portrayed it to be....

T1 out! 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Vietnam Day 10

Last day of travel back to Saigon....  Once again, please forgive me if these pictures aren't the best, as I said before, shooting from a moving vehicle can be very difficult at times! Hope you enjoy! 

Swiffer anyone? 
 Some of the last pics of the highlands as we made our decent down to Saigon.... Though I was ready for the warm climate of the south, I was also sad to leave this incredibly beautiful place....
 and it wasn't long before the mountains were behind us and we were back to the long flat highways leading to Saigon....

 The festival of children still going on as we pass through village after village....
 We have a party on the patio back in the states.... These guys take the party on the patio on the road!
 The tea fields.... wonder if this insecticide does any good against the bugs they have here.....
 Vietnamese grave yard....
 School letting out in one of the villages we went through.... rain or shine these kids walk miles to and from school.....

 It's amazing what you will find build along side the roads here in the middle of no where....
 Due to the rains we had in the highlands, there were a number of cool waterfalls along the way, I was able to get the driver to stop for this one so I could get out and get a few long exposure shots to slow blur the water.... turned out pretty good for no tripod!

 Thought this was pretty amazing, pretty much an entire village on the water.... I find it very interesting how these people make the best out of the land that they are giving to live on.... or lack there of....
 and finally, we end up back in Saigon just in time for rush hour traffic.....
Pop's and I are going to spend our final couple of days in country at the famous Rex hotel that has been here since before the war.... I figured he deserved a little taste of the good life after living on the road for the past week.... He was a total trooper and hung the entire time! Very proud of him and can tell a difference in how he looks at this once war torn place.... I think it's safe to say, all has been forgiven on both sides for the most part....

Vietnam Day 9

Another Great Day.... We started out visiting and attending a church service at one of the Point Man funded churches just outside of Da Lat. The people there were amazing and very receptive of us....


 After the service we got to meet with church elders and I had some of the best coffee we have had yet..... Maybe that was due to the fact that the fields surrounding the church were nothing but coffee plants! Amazing!
 My dad with the head Deacon of the church....

 Pops with some coffee beans right off the plant!


 This is one of the local Tribal women from the village, she is over 100 years old!
 Of course Vera went to work passing out blow pops as we walked through the village....



 This was temple right down the street from the church, I am amazed by the architecture....

 Toward the end of the day we headed out to a feast to celebrate the children.... what an incredible spread and great time!











 We stumbled into a cafe to get a break from the street traffic and it just happened to be the Head Quarters of the Da Lat Easy Riders! How cool is that!


 These last two images are my favorites from the day, can't decide which one I like best.... Tell me your pic....

Thanks again for stopping by, sorry this post is a day late, but with the heavy rains in Da Lat the last few days, the internet was very spotty and I was unable to get the post up.... Back in Ho Chi Minh City today.... will post more on that trip tomorrow!

Hope all is well with everyone! T1 Out!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Vietnam Day 8

Hello from Vietnam once again! I just want to start out by saying thank you to everyone for all the "likes" and awesome comments. It has been an inspiration to continue working hard everyday to make sure I get my blog posts up regardless of how tired I am.... and believe me, there were a couple of days when we'd spend 10 hrs on the road, then gone running around after checking into our hotel and I was literally falling asleep sitting up waiting for pictures to upload to the blog.... I hope you all continue to enjoy what you're seeing and please keep the comments coming! With that, here is today's post.... 

We visited an orphanage just outside of Da Lat this morning and couldn't believe how incredible this place was. We also got invited back tomorrow for a Festival of the Children so the pics from that should be great too. 
 


The children were working hard cutting down bamboo for crafts to sell tomorrow at the festival to raise money for the center.... 

 One of the Educators as he calls himself, spoke to my dad about what was going on, where donations come from and a basic history of the program.
 One thing remains the same no matter what part of the world your in, kids are still kids and it's great to watch them play and interact with each other....


 Did I mention they love blow pops!
 After the orphanage we again headed up higher into the hills to see some more of the sites....
 Some of the sites in this area are a new home development that is currently being built.... it looks a lot like homes you see going up in the states and I thought it important to show that it's not all poor run down towns and rural areas.... some of the homes we have seen are amazing!


 and right among those homes is a small old school type village where they offer elephant rides.... which I was all set to do until is yet again started raining on us again....
 And I didn't want to interrupt the poor guys bath....



 Think this boat shot is my favorite shot of the day, and will most likely be on the wall somewhere when I get home from this trip....

 Dorky self pic....
After the elephant tour we headed up even higher to a Buddhist Temple which I have been waiting to see since we got in country.... It is amazing how long this stuff has withstood the test of time.....




And what is better then finishing off the trip with a cable car ride? Not much!



Well maybe Planking an Elephant!  Ha!