Our last full day in Saigon. I took the morning to pack a little bit and get organized. In the afternoon, we visited the United Airlines Country Manager, Joe Mannix. He manages Vietnam and Thailand. He talked a little about the beginning struggles of United going into a foreign country and how they had to adapt their marketing. United is a leader in Asia and they are working on becoming more environmentally friendly.
After the business meeting, we went to Ms. Pham’s father’s house for a birthday party in Chance, Kristina, Tom, and Mai’s honor. It was very generous of her father to invite us. Ms. Pham’s family is very welcoming. We had a huge dinner prepared by Ms. Pham and her family. It was delicious and so nice to have a home cooked meal. When it was time for cake, we gave Kristina a card that I had gotten all the students to sign without her knowing. It was so heartwarming to see her smile when she opened it up and read all of their kind words. It made her cry and brought a few tears to my eyes as well.
After the dinner and cake we went to hang out with the students one last time. We went to Joey’s house. We cooked some food and played some music. Pine worked so hard on the fire! I can see him fanning the flame in my head. It is so relaxing and comforting to feel like you are at home in a foreign country. I truly feel like I now have a little family in Vietnam. I miss every single one of my Vietnamese friends. They all hold a special place in my heart and have made this trip truly special.
I plan on returning to Vietnam as soon as possible. It is a country full of amazing energy and potential.