This is Melissa writing.
Well, it's hot. It is so flippin hot!! It's not so much the heat that gets to you, but the looming humidity. It has an incredible capacity to make you sweat. Working outside at the orphanage leaves us all drenched half-way through the day. I bet the people at the restaurants where we eat lunch think we're crazy.
The people here are so incredible. I am amazed by their graciousness and friendliness. Generally being a tourist means you are looked at poorly, but here everyone is curious and open, very smiley. I like it.
Yesterday afternoon we spent painting at theorphanage. We were welcomed with open arms and once again filmed by the journalist team that always seems to know wehere we're going. We visitied the infants in one of the small rooms off of the courtyard. They were darling. One of them had crazy hair - it stuck out in all directions. Not going to lie; I wanted to adopt them all.
After that, we were instructed to sand down the railing on the balcony of the two upper levels of one of the buildings. We were confused as the sanding did very little and they had us paint it the original color. Once we were done with that, we all loaded onto the bus. I do not believe air conditioning has ever felt so incredibly delicious. It is always such a relief to step onto that bus. We drove to a nearby restaurant, a big place with a bridge spanning a murky pond filled with lily pads and fake mountains. They had a private room for us upstairs. There was so much food! Dish after dish after dish piled onto the Lazy Susan. It's quite interesting to guess what we're being served. I thought one dish was chicken, seeing that we found its head (yes, the whole thing) under the other pieces of meat.
We went back to the orphanage after lunch and got straight to painting. The paint was oil-based, so the fumes were strong. We were baking in the sun, sweat dripping down our faces while trying not to be overwhelmed by the paint fumes. It was actually pretty fun. I was disappointed, though, that we had no opportunity to work with the kids. I wish we could do more than paint.
We left the orphanage at 4:00 and had about an hour and 15 minutes till we got back to the hotel. I do NOT recommend drinking tons of water before such a long drive. It was not so much fun.
Back at the hotel, we rested a bit before dinner. Carly and I went out with her host brother to eat near a small lake. We ate in a restaurant on the fifth floor with a view. But first, we had to cross the Crazy Intersection of Death. It doesn't actually kill you but there are drivers coming at you from all angles on little motorbikes. They're very good drivers, but it's insane how many of them dodge you crossing the street.
We went into a little silk shop in which they were very helpful; they even brought me a little stool to sit on when I was looking at the items close to the floor. We walked back to the hotel and while we were standing ouside, about to say good-bye to Carly's host brother, we saw a motorbike zoom by and someone on the back shouted something. The motorbike stopped a little up the street and someone jumped off and started running towards us. We were so confused, but soon realized that it was our Vietnamese - GS friend, Yen Anh. We caught up with her before she left with her friends. I was so excited to see her (she's awesome!) and also amazed at the fact that she just happened to drive down the street we were on at that exact moment.
I really like breakfast at the hotel; mango, yogurt, fried rice, peach juice, pasteries, and Vietnamese coffee. We got on the bus at 8:00 to return to the orphanage for our 6th workday, ready to paint, surrounded by the relaxing high-pitched screech of the locusts and the sweltering heat.