News from the Rockland Rotarians, veterans (Nov. 4)
Ed Frank, Rockland VVA president and co-organizer of the humanitarian tour of Vietnam that my father and I are joining later this week, sent me some news about the group’s activities yesterday. (Scroll down to read his Nov. 2 and 3 dispatches, posted yesterday.)
The group is visiting the Vietnamese Demilitarized Zone and the Khe Sanh battlefield today. Here’s a picture of some of the travelers standing on the red clay of the battlefield last year; Ed is holding Jack Corbett’s West Dickens Avenue, which tells of the 1968 siege there.
Click here to read Ed’s news from Sunday and check back for more updates from this group of Rotarians, veterans and family members.
Sunday, Nov. 4: Breakfast was served on the 8th Floor of the hotel with a fantastic view of the port city of Hiaphong. Even though it was Sunday, the motorcycle traffic and blaring horns were going full steam by 7 a.m. The motorcycle activity is unimaginable and you really have to be viewing it in person to appreciate the chaos that exists. There is this never ending wave of humanity that traverse the streets without any mishaps as all. No road rage even though there is great cause by Western standards for such to happen. Having finished breakfast while viewing the entire city, it was then off to do some local site seeing at the largest city pagoda.
We then visited the flower market in Haiphong where the colorful arrangements and thousands of flowers decorated the market. It was then time to say goodbye to Haiphong, and we returned to Hanoi to see the Water Puppet Show before our evening flight to the Imperial City of Hue. (The show is a must see to experience the local traditions and lore of the Vietnamese. It was a very interesting 45 minute presentation and a very innovative art form.)
A quick tour of the open market just a few blocks away revealed a maze of vendors selling vegetables, live fish, live or fresh killed rabbits, chickens, turtles and a whole host of eastern delicacies that include westerners local house pets,too. It is sensory overload at times due to the constant activities on the street.
Caught a 7:30 p.m. flight from Hanoi to Phu Bai airport located on the outskirts of Hue City. It’s off to Khe Sanh battlefield, the DMZ and a wheelchair presentation at a local medical facility. The pace so far is furious. So much to do and so little time. Will keep you posted.