Monday, January 10, 2011

A Broader Backyard

Have you noticed that three weeks have passed without a post to Ferida’s Backyard? I was on vacation and taking a break from all things usual which, I believe, is the definition of vacation. Where was I? In Vietnam, a land I never expected to visit but I am so glad that I did.

I was concerned about how the Vietnamese people felt about Americans. What I found was a friendly welcome. There are museums and monuments that refer to our war involvement and some of that is hard to look at. Yet, for the most part, Vietnam is a country that is putting aside the past for a vibrant future. It is a communist country but one that is enjoying peace, a change from an often war-torn history.

I had imagined a land of flat fields and much of it is that, a countryside where rice fields abound. Rice is a staple in Vietnam, with several crops a year harvested. There are other parts, though; a UNESCO World Heritage site at Halong Bay where islands shift in and out of view in the morning mists and hide treasures like incredible caves, and the winding road through dense green hills to the city of Dalat. There are also fishing villages and fish farms and islands in the Mekong Delta where coconut and banana trees are plentiful.
It was a privilege to expand my backyard to this Asian land, to experience the terrain and its citizens, to share in the local foods and customs, and to remember about the commonality of all people in our desire to live joyful, peaceful, successful lives. A broader backyard encourages a larger global understanding and a fuller connection to all expressions of this earth.

1 comment:

  1. It is always amazing, to me, that there is such an abundance and diversity of culture, food, nature and people in this world. We take so much for granted in our country and traveling always reminds me of just how much we have in terms of liberties, food and consumer goods. But it also shows me how many different ways there are to live; our way isn't the only way.