Right now I'm sitting in a very warm hotel lobby in the incredible city of Ho Chi Minh City!
Really, it's pretty crazy that we actually got here. We found out our first flight (which was supposed to take us to D.C. so we could get to LAX) was canceled around midnight before we were supposed to leave at 3:30am. Luckily, we have a savvy leader named Becca who worked everything out with minimal damage. We changed flights and had to take Delta to Atlanta instead of United to D.C., but we got everything worked out by the time we got to LAX, and our luggage was waiting for us in Ho Chi Minh City when we got here to boot!
I've never felt so drained of energy when the plane landed in Ho Chi Minh City. After about 26 hours total travel time, the meaning of jet lag makes total sense to me. But as soon as we picked up our bags and headed to our van to take on the streets of Vietnam, I had forgotten all of that!
Ho Chi Minh City is full of life, and there are people everywhere you turn. Everything is done on the streets...socializing, selling goods of all sorts (some of which smell not exactly delectable, but talk to me tomorrow after I go to the market and I'm sure I'll have much more to say about that)! People go everywhere on motorcycles and bikes, and traffic laws are really JUST a suggestion. Our van drove on the wrong side of the road at least five times before the 30 minute trip to our hotel was through!
Myself and the girls on the trip (there are 11 of us, total) all held up really well on the flights over, and of course were ready for a reward, even though it was about 1 in the morning here when we arrived! We took in a little Ho Chi Minh City nightlife, and even ran into a group of students who were sitting next to us on the plane from LAX to Ho CHi Minh City that went to school in Utah!
Our hotel room (my friend Sophia and I are sharing) is not all that great, but it has air conditioning and bottled water, two essentials that we've learned even in only being in Vietnam for a few hours! Tomorrow, after visiting the market and some other sites in Ho Chi Minh CIty, we will fly to Hue, a smaller city, where we'll meet up with some Vietnamese students, visit an orphanage, and do some other cool things. I can't wait!