Ho Chi Minh City Skyline

Ho Chi Minh City Skyline
Ho Chi Minh City Skyline

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Day 14 - Hẹn gạp lại Việt Nam

This morning we went to UEF and listened to a lecture by the Pennsylvania trade representative in Vietnam. She works specifically with Pennsylvanian businesses looking to expand their business into the area. PA is the only state that has a trade office in VN; a unique and beneficial service to the companies that choose to utilize this service. Not to mention that the service is 100% free, what more could a growing PA company ask for? Remember II-VI from an earlier company visit? They are a Pennsylvania based company and I'm sure that they used the state commerce office's insider connections to establish their location in Vietnam. The economic service can also connect PA businesses to local markets for its products or services.

After our lecture we had our final language class. Today is test day; we studied a little bit the previous night before falling asleep due to exhaustion (can you I'm exhausted from my writing?). After our long review it was finally time. I was partnered with Tim and we were to carry out a brief conversation.

Language Class! (Instructor to the far left)
I forgot one small part and as a result I got a 90% on the test. We all posed for pictures with our language instructor before heading down to the canteen (cafeteria) for lunch. The food was great as always, and in the afternoon we went to a soccer field to play games with our UEF friends. If I remember correctly, Pitt won the soccer match. It was brutally hot outside and teammates from both sides were very sweaty. We also played some other games including a sack race. I was partners with Tam and we took first place! Whooo! For our victory we were awarded a stuffed animal duck.

Hanging out in the hotel before departure
After we went to the hotel and cooled off, we boarded the bus which took us to a familiar port. Our journey to Vung Tau started from the same location except this time our boat only took us up and down the same part of the Saigon River as we ate dinner. Towards the end of the ride, we took pictures with all of our adult UEF counterparts. After we got to the hotel, our UEF friends joined us around 9:30. We had to sneak them up to our rooms in small groups because our hotel specifically warns us not to "receive guests in hotel rooms". Even though they had school the next day, they decided to stay up with us until our flight left at 3:30am. They also brought us gifts personalized for each of us. Our UEF friends left before we did for the airport so they could say one final goodbye to us. Tears were shed by many as we hugged our friends for the final time. I purposefully walked slowly into the airport. As I was walking, I turned and saw through the glass my friends to the left of the window and Trân sitting on the railing. I waved one last time before making my way to baggage check in.

One last group picture
I had an amazing experience in Vietnam and I cannot wait for the day I am able to return. I wish I didn't have to leave. Hẹn gạp lại Việt Nam. (See you soon Vietnam)

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