February 8, 2003
Its been almost three weeks since I returned from Vietnam. Thats longer than the time I spent there, but I have to admit that I still havent processed everything that happened to me in those two weeks. I wish I had more time to spend just thinking about the trip. Going over pictures and such, but theres just no time. Time doesnt slow down just because I want it to.
Speaking of time, jet lag was terrible. I really had no idea what the twelve-hour time difference was going to do to my body. Its been nearly a decade since I went to sleep at 8:00pm, but the entire first week back in America, I was asleep by at least that time. I was hungry at odd hours and wide awake at 5 in the morning. My dog appreciated my early rising, but she was the only one.
Theres a move afoot now to get everyone together for a picture-exchanging party. I hope it works out. I dont have any non-digital pictures myself, but my Dad took plenty for us both, so I think Ill take those when I meet with everyone. Its strange, but I really hope that everyone is able to come. Our group grew so tightly knit, that it would be very weird not to have us all there.
Above all else, my trip to Vietnam has really changed how I view the world. Before, I felt myself fairly internationally savvy, but after, its easy to see how much more naïve I was than I thought. Ive been to the other side of the world now, and Im not just talking about geographically. I think what will stay with me most, though, is that in spite all the differences between Americans and the Vietnamese, we really are all just human beings. That is the tie that binds.