Monday, August 30, 2010

last night in the mekong

This is my second straight night in the Mekong Delta, one of the world's largest deltas in the world. I'm sleeping at homestay in a small town about four hours south of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's largest metropolis.

Whereas yesterday was a lazy one spent reading in a hammock, today was spent exploring the area. The Mekong is lovely albeit dirty too. Boats of different sizes and purposes traversing its mighty river and adjacent canals. Its water is brown due to the silt that deposited from up north helping to make this region the most fertile part of the country and one of the largest in the world. Locals are fishing, growing crops, transporting materials, guiding tourists, and selling commodities. It's as much a place of bustling commerce as it is an idealislic waterway far removed from the chaoitic frenzyness of Hanoi and HCMC.

Like the past several days, the weather was gorgeous today with some of the most captivating cumulous clouds that I've seen in awhile. As its the rainy season, it poured heavily for about 40 minutes beginning shortly before 5 this afternoon cooling the humid afternoon air.

Some of my most memorable experiences during these past three months have been in places removed from the urban jungle. The Mekong was no different.

After visiting a few more sights in the area early tomorrow morning, I'll take the bus back to HCMC, where I'll spend the next three nights before departing Vietnam on the night of September 3rd.

Even while I've been enjoying this amazing experience abroad, I've been contemplating my next overseas adventure. If possible, I've been thinking about maybe checking out Honduras or Guatemala during the winter or spring breaks. And then, granted that I receive my doctor's approval, I'd be very interested in visiting West Africa next summer: notably Ghana, Togo, and Benin. If I had three months off as I did this summer, I should be able to easily cover these neighboring countries.

There's so much to see. Although I'm not bitter, seven long years had passed between my original diagnosis and this year's trip. Imagine the places I could have visited during that time. The longing to travel has always been there, but physically I was unable to do so. Now that Ican again, I don't want to stop.

"That is the charm of a map. It represents the other side of the horizon where everything is possible."

In addition, my travels have inspired me to become more diligent about my foreign language study once again. Once I get settled back home, I'd like to return to Arabic and French.


Comment Blogger anatole said...

Hello Duane,

Have been following your journey for three years now. Never posted before but I'm a great fan. I'm French so if you ever want to practice (albeit I live in France), well, don't hesitate.

2:07 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home