MyLinh has been in our arms for one week. And what a week it has been...God is good. She has been a joy. As I type, she is lying in her crib near me, singing and talking, completely wound up from our crazy day. We spent about 6 hours on the road and the rest of the day enjoying the serenity of Halong Bay. It was a great but exhausting day, and sweetpea is wired while Alex and I are just tired!
The car ride went well. I had to stuff my motherly wisdom and worry into the trunk with the absence of a car seat and the reality of Vietnamese driving. For the record, these folks are amazing drivers...but the rules just don't apply here, and that is nerve wracking. Alex made a traffic comment today that rang too true, "The center line is really just a suggestion." We had a great driver and good guide (excellent English and a history major at university, so we loved picking his brain about current politics, culture, and the VN war, among other things).
We didn't realize when we booked this private tour (through Holt staff) that it really was PRIVATE. We had a 30 foot boat to ourselves! The massive limestone karsts looming through the misty gray were gorgeous and eerie at once. It felt other worldly, and the silence of the bay and the purity of the breeze was so refreshing after the chaos of this past week in the city. We enjoyed an amazing seafood lunch on the boat, including stir-fried squid, spring rolls, crab fritters fried in the shell, giant prawns (antennae and all), and local bananas for dessert. (MB and Malcolm -- we explored a huge cave, and we also saw monkeys!) During lunch, MyLinh was packed around by the crew, helping the captain "drive" the boat, playing peek-a-boo with the deckhand and enjoying snacks with the cook. Lord willing, we won't ever forget the affection for our girl from these strangers, the beauty of this corner of the world, and the privilege of getting to experience both.
This wraps up our last weekday while waiting for MyLinh's passport (due to be finished Monday). We can't do any of our other appointments until this gets completed. Those that have wondered about our "paperwork schedule," just keep praying that the next week's appointments go smoothly -- as we have a full week of them!