Ha Noi Ha Noi Ha Noi

I have arrived in the beautiful city that is Ha Noi.

We got here late Monday night and took a really long cab ride into the city to our hotel. Which at night seems very different from the day. Ha Noi isn’t so much a network of streets but a network of alleys, and our hotel was on one of these. The alleys almost make up communities, each grouping has everything anyone could ever need and everyone is welcome to join.

Our first morning we walked to the WUSC office, which we originally thought was 10 minutes. 35 minutes later we arrived, disgustingly hot and sweaty and more than a little bit jet lagged. We were told to memorize the route because we would have to walk home alone and alone to the office after that point. Our orientation went fairly smoothly with no real hiccups. And no one got lost walking :)

I bought a SIM card and got my phone working with a Vietnamese number which may have been one of the most confusing experiences of my life.

We visited a family clinic in Ha Noi where we can get medical treatment, flu shots, etc. and got one of the most terrifying talks ever as well as what I think was the third or fourth talk telling us about sexual health and STDS (what do people think we’re doing here?) 

I had the opportunity to meet with two host families and choose the one I thought was best for me. When I went to visit the first one, I was ushered through a very fancy clothing store, then through a kitchen, then through a stunning garden until we were in a beautiful home. The bedroom is bigger than anything I have ever had both at home or at school. Needless to say, I fell in love with it and will be moving in today at 12. My host family will be about 3.5km to work and about 6km away from everyone else in the program. I’m hoping to get comfortable biking on the streets.. But we’ll see how that goes.

I start work on Monday and will be working on Climate Change. More information will follow when I learn more.

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