I’m packed and (mostly) ready for this trip with Peace Trees Viet Nam, starting tomorrow. It’s a very long haul, changing in Seoul and arriving Ho Chi Minh City near midnight Tuesday local time. But this will be my first time in Viet Nam (we didn’t have diplomatic relations when I was last in east Asia with the Navy in the early-90’s) and also Korea. There’s a long layover on the return through Seoul, so I will get to see a bit of the city then.
Peace Trees Viet Nam was founded by a member of our parish (www.gracehere.org), in memory of her brother who was killed in the war. This NGO was the first non-profit allowed access once relations were established with the US in 1995, and they have worked tirelessly to help mend the damage of war. Their focus is the region of the former demilitarized zone, with its hazards of unexploded ordnance. They educate the populace in safety practices, and plant trees in the deforested areas, and build kindergartens. We will be visiting a number of these sites.
In addition, we will spend a few days in Ho Chi Minh City at the beginning, and in Hanoi at the end, of our itinerary. More later!