Good Morning Vietnam

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Well, we all made it to Hanoi, had our first meeting tonight, and went out to dinner together. We'll be writing blogs and adding pictures as soon as we can, but we are off tomorrow to Halong Bay, and a overnight boat trip.

So...Hanoi. This is one colorful place, rather like being in the middle of a movie set. If you walk the streets of the Old Quarter, in particular, there are small shops crowded on top of small shops, people gathering outside to eat, drink, and talk, and singing birds in little cages. Traffic is just as chaotic as it was when we visited in 2009, with one major change. Now you have to negotiate streets filled with CARS in addition to the motorbikes and buses. Hiroshi has taught Nervous Nelly Me how to approach this situation. Wait until there is a bit of a break in the traffic, then calmly and slowly walk across the street while giving all the millions of vehicles time to anticipate your path. Don't do anything unexpected. Don't jump like a frightened rabbit when the motorbike with an entire family on it swerve around you, missing you by a hair. Not a problem. Breath deeply.

Otherwise, food is fabulous here. People are nice. There is a colorful picture of city life around every corner. Weather is...HOT...HUMID...miserable. But we will survive.

Cheers from Brenda to all our friends at home.