Welcome to the official DukeEngage in Vietnam blog! It's Monday, May 31st - the last day of May and my last evening in America for the next ten weeks. Tomorrow I will be meeting up with the rest of my program to start what could just be that life changing event that we all seem so anxious to have.
There are 10 of us Duke students meeting in Ho Chi Minh City (aka Saigon) tomorrow: 6 guys and 4 girls; 9 from all over American and one from Asia; 1 senior (that's me), 4 juniors, and 4 sophomores. We all chose this program for different reasons. I have this habit for pushing myself out of my comfort zone, and the fact that half my answers to recent questions about my trip have been "I'm not sure yet" show that this time I've really out-done myself. Do I know the rest of the people on the trip? Well I met them and we bonded during orientation but no, not really. I have no doubt though that in 10 weeks, I will know them and they will know me...and hopefully we will all know ourselves a little better (ahh I promise to try and limit the cliche)
Things I'm excited for: THE FOOD, getting hands on building experience, trying new foods, getting to know 9 new Duke students, getting to live with a Vietnamese roommate, trying out some Vietnamese cooking, the promise of a beautiful landscape, oh and have I mentioned the food???
Things I'm anxious about: the plane ride - definitely the plane ride, the awkward getting to know you questions and don't really know you yet photos, not being able to talk to my parents and friends from home easily, stomach issues, and loving it so much I never want to leave
I found this recipe on one of the food blogs I read (warning this blog will contain an obscene amount of references to food) and I can't wait to see how authentic it is. Vietnamese food has some awesome French influences due to the French occupation of the area and thus we get these sandwiches served on a French baguette!
And here's an some recommendations on how to be comfortable on the long plane ride tomorrow. Dude, I hope there's an in-flight exercise video.