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Eat, Pray, Love, Shop (Vietnam Style)

April 27, 2012 (Friday) – Having enjoyed our motorcycle ride, we were set for a busy day.

SecondDay001 First, we sat in on a committee meeting at the home of a Baha’i friend, met many members of the Baha’i community, along with a visiting Counselor, George Saroya, from Indonesia. Lunch at an outdoor noodle cafe. Delicious food. Did I mention that I am not normally adventurous with unfamiliar cuisine? So far, however, I’ve enjoyed all kinds of new dishes I don’t recognize, can’t pronounce, and that taste unlike anything I recall. It’s turning out to be a treat, not a challenge. (But stay tuned!)

SecondDay014 After lunch, we were turned over to two wonderful young Vietnamese women, Ha and Huyen (pronounced “When”). They escorted us on a long trek through downtown Hanoi. Shopping, sightseeing, learning cultural history. Too much to easily absorb, much less summarize here – but amazing stuff. Long walks, long bus rides. (Riding a bus in Hanoi feels just like riding a bus in any American city, or at least that was my take on it.)

SecondDay020 In the evening, we attended a Baha’i Feast observance at a private residence. At least 50 to 60 Baha’is attended – almost all of them Vietnamese. Rare exceptions included our hosts, Michael and Selena, who are American; ourselves, and a couple of visitors attending for the same reason we are: To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Baha’i community in Hanoi.

SecondDay023 Speaking of which, Zabine was recognized and honored for her role in teaching and enrolling the first Hanoi believer, Dr. Dao An Son. She’s thus regarded by the Baha’is here as the founder of their community. Asked to speak, she conveyed loving greetings from hundreds of well-wishers from throughout the planet. Zabine has unnumbered Internet connections: more than 4500 Facebook friends, just for starters. She assured them (through her interpreter) that this immense worldwide community is vibrant with admiration for everything the friends in Vietnam are accomplishing.

Tomorrow (Saturday) happens to be Vietnam’s annual Baha’i convention, where the National Spiritual Assembly is elected. Since Zabine and I can’t attend that, we aren’t sure how we’ll be spending the day: That is up to our hosts. But Sunday is an open anniversary celebration to which everyone is invited – public officials, private citizens (Baha’i and otherwise), and visiting dignitaries.

1 comment to Eat, Pray, Love, Shop (Vietnam Style)

  • Glenn Darling

    Greetings Gary from beautiful Vancouver Island, the summer home of God! What a treat it is to follow the adventures of Zabine and your good self in Vietnam. As soon as I got caught up on everything you have written so far, I couldn’t help but go and dig out my copy of “Servant Of The Glory” A Chronicle of 40 Years of Pioneering, by Dr. Dempsey Morgan. He and his dear wife Adrienne, spent several years teaching the faith with Jim Fozdar in Saigon in the late 50′s. It is such a blessing to be able to follow your ventures almost instantaneously, through the magic of the Internet. Please convey a big hug to Zabine from Nancy and myself and perhaps the two of you might remember Dr. Morgan when you are teaching over there. He truly loved the people of Vietnam.

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