Archive for January, 2016


December 2015 – 4. January, 2016

Palace Grounds with Uncle Ho's Home in Background

Palace Grounds with Uncle Ho's Home in Background

Click here for December Photos

This has been a month of celebrations.  December has always been rich with celebration – our birthdays, our anniversary, the holiday of Christmas and the arrival of the New Year.  Here in Vietnam it feels that we are meeting the ultimate in experience of joy and celebration.

-the MCC office celebrates the month’s birthday’s with a special lunch meal prepared by Mrs. Thu and all 3 of us received huge bouquets of live flowers.

-we were invited to the Indonesian Embassy for a worship and Christmas party post the service – hosted by two persons we met at the Hanoi International Church.  This was great to experience the mix of cultures and languages.  A bit of a challenge for our brains – learning and un-learning!

-The MCC staff and their families joined together for a Christmas party at Major and Karen’s home on the Sunday pre-Christmas. The white elephant gift exchange was reminiscent of our Christmas tradition at RMF in Richmond!! What fun!

-Meeting my sister Sharon and her husband, David (Paul’s cousin), Saturday before Christmas at the Hanoi airport as they arrived to join a tour group of their friends from House Church in DC was special.  For the next 11 days we took some vacation days and traveled to tour sites here in the city of Hanoi, and then south to Hue, Hoi An, and Song My (the infamous My Lai site).  We practiced some language as we went but mostly enjoyed being with family and hearing about this country and its amazing history.  It gave us a great appreciation for Vietnam, its people and its ancient history. We could imagine many of you taking such a tour here and enjoying the beauty and sensory sights!

-Christmas day in Hue we were chosen to be “King and Queen” dressing up in traditional robes and headpieces as we were served dinner and entertained by a traditional music group of court musicians and surrounded by the rest of the group who were also dressed for the part.  Quite a surprise!!

-December 28th arrived with David and Sharon and the Vietnamese tour guide getting involved in a special tribute for our 46th Wedding Anniversary at the hotel in Hoi An.  One of the most unusual cakes and lovely live flowers!!

Visiting the DMZ and the nearby underground tunnels where villagers lived for years during the war was sobering.  Now the once heavily bombed area was peaceful and green with rice fields once again. We took a day trip south into the actual Province where we will live and work. We visited the Village of Song My (My Lai) where a museum and memorial site was built to remember some of the stories of villagers who were killed. It also told the story of the few American soldiers who tried to stop the killing and rescue survivors. Today this area too is lush with rice fields, vegetable gardens and new villages.  Most Vietnamese were born after the war and many after the opening of the economy in 1986. They are looking to a future of friendship with Americans.

The beauty of the mountains, green paddies, blue sky and seaside are lush and rich.

Amidst all of this we have continued to study language. We have another month of intense learning and practicing, although clearly the task is never completed.  We will likely move to our place of work and living early in February.  The more quiet and laid back setting will be anticipated when compared to the noise and bustle of Hanoi. However we are glad we have had this chance to meet the other MCC staff and the rest of the team here.

Thank you for your many notes and responses to our initial blog.  Blessings and love for your new year of 2016.  (In February we will celebrate the lunar New Year’s arrival with Vietnamese.)

Click here for December Photos

MCC Vietnam also has a Facebook page and has two December posts of the projects we will be working with. The post on December 17th is about the Day Care Facility and the December 21st post is about the Cow Bank Project. Both were prepared from a professional photographer’s photos:

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