Saturday March 29

I've watched the clock all day trying to guess where the girls are on their trek..Bill McBride was taking Sarah to the airport at - well, I'm not sure. Her flight was for 6:30 AM. Mitty and TJ were to leave New Orleans at 7AM. I was able to talk to them both before they left - excited would be one word to describe them. From what both told me, I'd have to say they were flucuating between emotional tearfulness to emotional heights..

Mitty wanted to know if I knew of any American families who were trying to adopt Vietnamese children. They (WGNO-26 News) are doing a story about foreign adoptions - well, right here in the Saigon Hotel are two women with their adopted (almost) children. They thought it would be 2 weeks, but one of them has been here 5 weeks and the other 6 weeks. One of the women - (good name!) is trying to get papers for 2 girls ages about 5 and 9 from INS. The other woman, Stacie is adopting an infant with severe anemia and Malaria. They have agreed to be interviewed by Mitty.

Has the Ambassador been sworn in yet? I heard it was being held up by the Senator or rep from one of the Eastern states has boycotted until all MIA/POWs are accounted for. My humble opinion is that the sooner we set up formal/normal relations, the more likely we are to know what happened to our men. We have about 2,000 unaccounted for - they have a few hundred thousand un accounted for.

This morning Lan and I settled the $ part of our relationship. Small problem - I thought the price on the sheet was for all 4 of us...oops! It was for one warm body. Have to call my banker 1st thing Monday AM. Poor Lan. She probably thinks I'm one of those crazy Americans.

I walked around most of the afternoon - bought a few trinkets for gifts then came back for a nap! I could become really accustomed to a nap every afternoon...but it is so hot and humid here I feel wrung out about half the time...naps help.

Tonight, Lan, who is trying to keep me occupied 'til the girls come, took me to eat dinner on a river boat. We cruised along on the Saigon river. Lovely.

Here in HCMC, there are a llot of beggars some with deformed, no legs, strange arms. I wonder about agent orange and landmines or booby traps. One toothless old lady caught me coming out onto the street - I know not to look at their eyes - but I did. She indicated she was hungary and needed money. So I took her to a noodle shop and paid for the meal - a whole $1 U.S. and she had the "works"!! That was my only good deed for the day. The rest of the time I was self-indulgent.

I almost forgot to add this - I think it was Tuesday afternoon. Lan took me to meet an NVA Brig. Gen. and his wife who was an NVA major - retired. A very interesting couple though difficult to understand. They didn't want to talk about the war but I surely did see a lot of pictures of their family. I got out the polaroid and oh, boy, the Gen excused himself for a moment then came back out, he had changed to jacket and tie. We took pictures of everyone!

Then he told me I was too beautiful to be single (sly rascal..but his stock went way up!) and wanted to fix me up with his Vietnamese/American friend. His wife agreed - said he looked very American and was tall. Guess I'll just have to come back! Seems here in VN, being a bit overweight and older are much respected!! Yeh, I could handle this!

That reminded me of one of the street kids in Hanoi. Maxine and I were sitting on the steps of a gallery when a group of kids descended on us selling postcards and books. One little guy latched onto me (I must look like an easy hit) I told him I was out of Dong and had to go to the bank. I couldn't buy anything. He was content to squat and visit with us (English is taught to all students - he spoke well). Maxine has long grey hair..he told her she was old and I was fat. About that time Chung came out and said we were going to the bank - guess who followed so he could sell his post cards - Larry nicknamed him "Ferdinand" and yes, I bought his postcards - I'm a wimp.