Monday, April 16, 2012

Reflections on my last night in Saigon

Last night was my last in Saigon for this trip.  Today I'm meeting with the lovely Worldwide Orphans Foundation team for some last minute debriefing of our training and planning for the upcoming camp programs, and then I'm off to Cambodia for the next few days.  Last night before I left I went for a 'treatment' with Quyen and her sister... that consisted of a steam bath, full body exfoliation (they said I had too much dead skin and had to call in reinforcements), thai massage and ginger lotion treatment... all for 10 dollars.  MUCH better than the fish massage, FYI.

When I got home, I stood at the window in my hotel room for a long time and watched the city below.

This trip has been a really interesting one.  I am traveling alone, so I've had a lot of reflection time.  While there has been a lot going on with my friends and family back home that has made it difficult to be far away and alone for a lot of the time, being alone has allowed me to explore a bit more than I usually do and to watch what is going on around me more carefully.   The majority of the time the people are speaking in Vietnamese, of which I understand nearly nothing.  So its been quiet, but at the same time, I am in such a noisy and chaotic city with voices speaking all around me.. and so busy every day trying to figure out what is going on with our team here.. a very interesting combination of silence and noise.

The time here has also allowed me a lot of time to listen.  Both to the sounds of the city, but also to the stories of the people on my team here in Vietnam.  I fell like I've gotten to know each of them so much better, and I've learned so much history of the program and individuals as part of the program.

I am someone who is always jumping from thing to thing, looking for ways to improve and push and move and shake.  This trip has been such a good reminder to pause to watch, listen, ask and process.  I know I will support this team better because of my quiet times on this trip.  And I think maybe my mind and heart needed this time too.

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