November 2018 Update

Vũng Tàu, Viet Nam

Officially done with my Fulbright grant in Indonesia & I made another big move.

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Officially a little over a month in Viet Nam. I spent nearly 3 weeks in Sai Gon, and that ish was expensive! So…I made another move/ settled in Vung Tau. The birthplace of my father and still home to many of my fambam. There's so much rich, personal history in this coastal city. 

Vung Tau is about 1 hour south of Ho Chi Minh City. Tourism is booming, oil is pumping, and a gigantic Jesus and Mary statues are said to be protecting the city. There's an interesting dynamic going on in Viet Nam…a distinctive migration of old,"western" men and the ever-entrepreneurial spirited Vietnamese citizenry. 

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My family lives (in what we would call in the US) the not-so-glamorous ‘suburbs’. Twenty minutes from the beach/city area, it almost feels like a gentrification scheme. This city has developed into a full on tourist destination for locals and internationals alike. When I came here back in the early 2000s, It was not this developed and I definitely did not see any white folks. Now, it's a different story. I've seen handful of white women, but most white men lurking the bars and riding motorcycles. The Korean super store Lotte Mart even has signs in Russian.

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Sometimes I think I could totally go back into the service industry and make a ton of money. There's so many hotels, bars, english learning centers, etc…. where I could totally thrive and make a decent living. 

But, I know I have higher calling. I'll just have to get creative and transfer those hospitality skills into the non-profit conservation field. 

Thanks for reading this & your patience with the delays. ♥️ allsmilesThao