This is the first of several blogs to share about my break between semesters. The day I finished grading Journalism final exams, I went to Saigon on the midnight bus with my team leader Karen to pick up my mom and dad!! Everything about our trip and picking them up went SO smoothly! It was unreal to see them walk out of the airport- I just couldn't believe they were in Vietnam. We spent that first day trying to keep them awake- getting some food and walking around the market in HCM. We got a good nights sleep before taking the bus back to Dalat the next day.
Even after many warnings that it was quite cold in Dalat, my parents were still surprised by the chill they experienced. Yes, there are cold places in Vietnam :) It was SOOO fun to show them around the city of Dalat, spend my 25th birthday with them, and introduce them to my home, the University campus and classrooms I teach in, my teammates, my teaching colleagues and superiors at the University, the lake in the center of town I run around, a few of my students who did not leave for the TET New Year holiday, my favorite places to eat, the amazing market, and so much more! What a gift to have time together in my new home setting. And a big THANK YOU to all of you who sent things with my parents to bless and encourage me!
On a side note, I had a wonderful 25th birthday. We had some visitors from Hanoi come to Dalat to visit, and my teammates surprised me with a pancake breakfast! It was such a sweet gift of love. They know me well. Then my parents took me for a lovely horse-drawn carriage ride around the lake, followed by a delicious dinner, and then cake and candles (sent from my Grandma).