One of my sisters: Peg is currently traveling in Vietnam. I told her to please, please, please, send me a picture of some chickens while there and here you go.
This following account is a fascinating glimpse into her trip which includes a photo of a pretty spectacular rooster and some chickens. (Pay attention to that attacking hen in the background – I’m assuming that Peg got away safely).
As promised, here are photos of chickens in Vietnam. I am here in Hanoi on my way to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) to visit the Anh Linh School. Started in 1990, the school was approved by the government and run by the Sisters of Notre Dame. In 2004 Jerilyn Hirsch came to teach English. She was determined to bring resources and to help Sister Cam Thuy build a school that could house 283 students. Today our organization, Bridges to Learning pairs sponsors with aspiring students. We have helped build the school, the dorms for 30 orphaned middle-school girls, purified water, breakfast and lunch, and medical care. The students are very poor. In fact, their parents make in a year what an average family in Vietnam make in a month. As a result, there is no way they could afford to go to public school, which costs families about $35 a month. Through Bridges to Learning, these kids get a chance.
We flew from Minnesota to Tokyo and then immediately to Hanoi. I was not prepared for the Hanoi of 2011; my image of Vietnam is still stuck in the 70s. Hanoi is bustling, and all 5 million people each have a motor scooter which they ride at breakneck speed around the city. Crossing the streets is very much like in Mulan when the grandmother takes the cricket across the street and completely stops traffic. There are not traffic signs, or stops, or appropriate sides of the road. The tens of thousands of motor scooters are pulled up on the sidewalk, so walking through the streets with the motor scooters, the cars, buses and rickshaws is the only way to get around.
Today we took a break from the urban madness to go up to the Perfume River. After traveling about an hour and a half by bus, we then took Vietnamese River Boats for another hour to our destination: about 7 of the most beautiful Buddhist Pagodas tucked away in the mountains. The highlight was the Pagoda in a cave. Used for more than 2,000 years, this temple was hidden deep in a cave until rediscovered 120 years ago.
Which brings me to chickens. We took a cable car up the mountain to get to the temple in the cave, but walked down where we happened upon a hen and her chicks and all of these chickens and roosters. Notice how many roosters are living together without killing each other! I guess in Vietnam the roosters have learned how to get along.
So, there you have it, Vietnamese chickens. My trip journal is here.