The clinic specializes in Eastern medicines and treatments (which we would call supplementary or alternative) that involve herbal remedies and acupuncture. One of our reasons for making this trip was to deliver gifts from SARA. But another reason was to deliver Sr. May, meaning that we introduced her to the pastor who would oversee her studies of the healing arts there for the next 3 months to a year. I believe it is the plan for her to bring those skills back to the clinic her community operates (funded by SARA) in Bắc Ninh, in the North.
We toured the grounds and activities, which are abundant. Then we had dinner, after which we were treated to an impromptu talent show that Fr. Thinh called into action earlier in the day. It was amazing and fun.
The next morning we had to rise early (again!) for Mass at 4:45am. There were men women and children, four priests and three altar servers for this middle-of-the-week Mass. The church was almost full. I continue to be amazed at the devotion of these Vietnamese Catholics.
We drove back to Saigon, after stopping by the parents of Quang (our Saigon host) who live in the area. The Quang family hosted us for a last Vietnamese supper and then we made our way to the airport and, eventually, Oregon. It has been an incredible month, but I do miss the comforts of my own home. I really miss the parish and my family. But I am grateful for all God has shown me of his amazing people in Vietnam.
Boats of all sizes fill the Mekong River. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason as to traffic patters. All kinds of small boats hurried across the path of the ferry.
Video of the Drum Dance.