Friday, March 28, 2008

One week...

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!

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am curious about the water...no problems in that part of the world? And eating the "local" food prepared on the boat...do they have refrigeration/ice to keep things cold before preparing? I think you are VERY brave to try all this!!!!

Alex and Riann said...

To anonymous above: wish I knew who you were! No, you can't drink the water anywhere in Vietnam, and the food on the boat scared me to death. After eating the lunch specially prepared for the two of us (remember we are the only guests on this boat with 5 courses set before us), I really thought I should have received a gold star (or crown or medal...) I am still half-wondering when food poisoning is going to set in, but here I type, stomach like iron, nerves like steel, exhausted...to bed.

Anonymous said...

so happy to hear that you have been brave...in many areas...good job ri! you did speak of the VN "diet" plan. and happy to har that ML is gooing to others easily.
MA: i like mywinn.
MB: that sure was cool of you to say you saw a monkey. xoxox mom

Jordan and Amber said...

Great pics of the three of you! Alex, You look like a stud w/ your bride and newest addition "on safari". Ri, I can't believe that you ate the grub..No pun intended. I hope it doesn't catch up to you either. I know that you are incredibly gracious, but that was over the top! Wait till you try what I am brining to the family reunion..I will try to bring something "ethinic" to remind you of your diverse and cultured palate. Give my niece a hug from uncle J. Love, big bro

Anonymous said...

Anonymous about the water and food was me, Riann...I forgot to sign my name. After all, this is MY FIRST EVER BLOGGING...and it's been so fun to keep up with what you are doing, seeing, tasting, etc, etc!!
Anne
PS...I would actually be something other than Anonymous IF I KNEW HOW!! LOL

Anonymous said...

I love your journaling as it is so easy to picture(of course your pictures help... green or not!!)What a neat time to have and look back on with all your kiddo's and knowing you, one day the whole family will go back and visit. Looked like a lot of fun (food and all!!)
Much love, ConnieLou

Anonymous said...

yes, anne, i didn't realize "anonymous" was such a popular name..i'd change mine too if i knew how..maybe to "the jolly green giant". mona