Brought to you by Viet Nam.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Today I spent some time sorting through a cedar chest full of letters and cards, and I was flooded with memories.

I came across the letter my Dad gave me on our first date (I was 12). I found the goodbye letter my best friend Jess wrote through tears and had to write a second copy. I found myself overwhelmed with gratitude for the many incredible people the Lord has placed in my life.

And at just the right time, I found this letter.

This one was in my own handwriting, and was written by Melissa Dix and me during our 2-week trip to Viet Nam. We became so close during that trip and I am so thankful for her (even though I don't get to see her much now). I loved how we would laugh so hard together, and most of the time, it was exactly what we needed.

So this is really for you, Melissa. Probably no one else will understand anyway. :)

Dear Shawn,

We are sitting here at a romantic jazz lounge by the South China Sea. There is tribal music playing in the background, almost no lighting, but plenty of pillows to make it an overall sketchy place. We've gotten to know the cook, host, bus boy, owner, bartender, and manager pretty well because they are the same person. The atmosphere is perfect: Chinese lanterns, beautiful weather, waves crashing on the shore, beds that make big question marks pop in your head when you look at them, puppies whining and pawing at us under the table, and the only two other people in the restaurant just left. The only thing that might possibly improve this situation is if a coconut fell out of a tree onto the grass hut roof. We ate our dinner just now. They ran out of calamari even though we are right next to an ocean. We tried to feed squid brain to the dog to make it go away. It didn't work.

Hope you're enjoying huckleberries and good food with your host families.

Until our next interesting experience in Viet Nam...

Melissa and Whitney

And again, just for you, a few more Viet Nam moments.

Getting manicures/pedicures from a very crowded nail salon.

Beautiful boats on the river.

An odd sight during one of our many bike rides. It's a man. In a pot.

Vietnamese karaoke! We rocked!

What are these outfits called again? I can't believe I forgot! We wore them for our final performance. And yes, I played harmonica. :)

Overlooking Vinh Long.

"What a pity!"

Accomplishing a life goal - sushi in Japan!

Fun (and sometimes scary) bike riding!

The market.

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