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Vietnam Exit

May 9, 2012 (Tuesday) – Most of the past week – another blur. Our official reason for being in Vietnam ended with last weekend’s celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Hanoi Baha’i community. Normally we would have headed for home immediately. Did I explain that the earliest return flight turned out to be more than a week later?

Highlights of the past week include taking out our host families to dinner at a wonderful Hanoi lakeside restaurant, La Tre Place (aka The Bamboo Restaurant); dinners at the homes of various Vietnamese friends; a water puppet show; and a breakfast excursion at an exceptionally wonderful cafe called Tea Talk.

But the biggest highlight was the almost daily opportunities to teach people about the Baha’i Faith. One (or sometimes more) of the young Vietnamese college women who expressed an interest in Zabine’s Heart to Heart multimedia slideshow kept coming back to learn more. One of them gave a good 15 hours of rapt attention over the course of several days. (This is not a strictly Asian phenomenon: Using Heart to Heart, Zabine routinely elicits similar levels of engagement in Seattle and elsewhere. That’s another story.)

Come Tuesday night, our Baha’i shepherds, Binh and Duyen, whisked us to the dazzlingly modern Hanoi airport with plenty of time to spare. They then hung around with us to make sure we didn’t get stuck because of some airline hitch, language glitch, technical difficulty or whatnot. Words don’t exist to say how kind and wonderful these folks are.

Instead of trying to narrate a day-by-day account, I’m posting below a few of the several hundred photos I took over the past week. Please note that as before, clicking on any thumbnail will display a much larger and more detailed version:

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