Published: March 29th 2010March 28th 2010
Today - we seized an opportunity to just relax. The weather was so cool and sunny -- and we didn't have any major plans for the day. The morning was spent touring the Summer Palace of the last King of Vietnam -- and then we visited the most enchanting monastery called Truc Lam (Bamboo Forest). It's a place where people come to learn meditation, and the monks chant for several hours several times a day. It is so peaceful and inviting -- with labyrinth gardens, wind chimes and the unexpected warm smell of pine. Afterwards, we took a sky cab (mini gondola) ride across fields of terrace gardens and pine forest. What a great way to see the countryside!
We arrived back in the city of Dalat and went to lunch at a cafe owned by a blues musician and native of Cleveland Ohio, Curtis King. His wife was holding down the fort while he was on tour with his band. Everyone agrees that his Vietnamese wife makes the best Lasagna on at least two continents. We then went our separate ways -- with David, Fred and Doug taking in an afternoon of golf. Meanwhile the non-golfers bagged candy for
Buddha with a Lotus flower
Inside the pagoda at Truc Lam
each of the school children at the dedication and picked up the instruments that were ordered yesterday. Many of the girls got massages, and Judy and her grandsons made their way to the park to play a little ball. They made a bunch of new friends.
We reconvened for a group birthday dinner, and just when Judy was about to call it a night and cancel the celebration due to lateness and impatience -- a cake the size of a snare drum (and possibly thicker) arrived at the table. We went to bed happy and full -- with visions of school children dancing in our heads. Tomorrow we dedicate the school.
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There are more photos below