First days in Danang

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We’re here!  After a rather long journey of almost 48 hours, including a 24 hour layover in Seoul, South Korea, we touched down in Danang and were spirited by bus to the Magnolia Hotel, which we will call home for the next five weeks. Students will be studying Vietnamese language, along with the history, religion, and culture of Vietnam. In addition we’ll be teaching a class on the “American War in Vietnam” –  a chance to reflect on the conflict that cost the lives of 56,000 Americans and more than 2,000,000 Vietnamese.  For now, in these first days of being in Vietnam, we’re just adjusting to a world very different than our own – the sounds of thousands of motorbikes constantly whizzing past, the delicious smell of bun cha suon (grilled pork) sold on the street, sold by a man who loves Americans and wears a cowboy hat, the sight of many cranes on the Danang skyline as the city is transformed into a modern Southeast Asian city.  And the students got a cyclo (rickshaw) tour of the city, carried in style by some older gentlemen, some of whom fought alongside the Americans more than 40 years ago and now are carrying around the American soldiers’ grandchildren.

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