This could very well be life in a microcosm: nothing is permanent. I look around this room, this house, this university, this town that has been my home for nearly three years and realize that it’s going to vanish soon and I’ll be back in middle America trying to survive the freezing weather and the society and culture that I decided I needed a break from such a long time ago. But things are going fine in my time of nearly no teaching. I’m getting little bits of work done that I should’ve finished ages ago but didn’t and treating time with friends as ever more valuable.

However, in health-related news things aren’t going so well. Michelle, one of the volunteers that arrived in late August, has been sick in Ho Chi Minh City for the past week and has been diagnosed with pneumonia and an inflamed appendix. She has to stay in the city for another week in order to make sure she’s completely recovered before returning to Long Xuyen. And over the past week there were reports of a Cholera outbreak in the northern provinces of Vietnam. I didn’t think twice about it, but now I’ve heard that’s been reported in Ho Chi Minh City, and just this morning I heard that five people here in Long Xuyen had been hospitalized with stomach/digestive track illnesses. So, not very good news in those areas.

When I first came to Vietnam, in 2003, SARS was the threat. From 2004 through this year, avian influenza was the threat. Cholera seems mild compared to the previous diseases, but all the same, I’m going to take precautions about what I eat for the next week or so.


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