Sunday, June 30, 2013

Tour 2013 Continues!

In Hanoi, BCC took in some wildly contrasting tours. We took a tour of the "Hanoi Hilton" where Senator John McCain spent time.  On a lighter note  we saw a traditional Water Puppet show. While it may be "lighter," it does carry cultural heft as traditional legends and historical tales are transmitted through this enchanting artistic format. It was colorful and elegant, gorgeous and lush. 

The following day, we embarked upon a 2 hour trip the Thuy An Center for Disabled Children.  About 200 local students from Hanoi also were there; they have adopted this center to help the students.  An elaborate program of performances by the disabled children and the volunteers along with BCC entertained everyone.  Many of the students from Hanoi were eager to practice their English on us, and I think some are 'liking' us on Facebook as I type :)  Then we helped deliver food and gifts to all of the children. As always the singers displayed a great dignity and captivated our hosts. 

in the afternoon we visited a very interesting museum - the Museum of Ethnology - which gives information about how the many different ethnic groups in Vietnam live.  There are over 50 different ethnicities in vietnam.  There were wonderful examples of the homes they lived in and still live in today.  That afternoon our students met their host families from Hanoi.

The following day (June 29) the singers all had nice individual experiences with their host families then we all met for lunch at the Seasons Restaurant before going to rehearsal at the beautiful Hanoi Opera House.  As you've read, the concert was sold out again and the audience was very appreciative of the show.  The MCs did a great job of interviewing Marlon, Mr. TK and our youngest singer Amechi.  

An early morning awaited us as we said farewell to Hanoi to head to the airport for Phnom Penh.  The driving is a tricky especially in a bus. We safely arrived in Phnom Penh and met Amanda from ACFEA and our tour guides.  We checked into the Phnom Penh hotel and the singers had the afternoon to swim and rest after visting the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda.  You could take photos of the beautiful buildings but not of the inside.  We had a beautiful dinner at the Bopha Restaurant, which was next to a river.  We were able to watch two traditional dancers show us a traditional dance about the growth of the lotus flower.  

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