Once in a while, I order this special drink; Soda sua hot ga, at #PhoCaDao, well, I don’t want to translate it into English because once I translate it, it will not sound too appetizing, but I assure you, it tastes super-duper yummy. 


 You see, in Viet Nam, my motherland,  prior to 1975, having this special drink is similar to ordering Iranian Caviar, and with my Dad’s limited income as an Air Force Officer, we were lucky just to have food on the table.

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I could only enjoy this drink during my final examines.   
My Mom made this special drink because she believed that the organic egg yolk and all the “magic” ingredients in this drink formula would help me boost my energy, and increased my brain power while I studying for my examines.  And, I supposed it worked because I received super-duper good grades. 


November is the month of Gratitude; and, my heart filled with gratitude living here in America, the land of abundance, including jobs.  If I want to earn extra income, I just have to work a bit harder.  If I want to order food or drink, I can to my heart’s content. 


And best of all, the FREEDOM to travel anywhere in the United States without having to ask for Government permission, as in my birth country, Viet Nam.  I am THANKFUL. 


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Photos of my first trip, as a tourist in my birth country, VietNam recently, and, amazingly this photo was taken at the same location, DaNang where our President Donald Trump delivered a heartfelt, beautiful, uplifting speech that motivated us to do better and be better.



Seeing my motherland prosper and at peace after ongoing war, and now, only focusing on rebuilding makes my heart sing.  
War is ugly.  No one wins, including the winner. Having a son, I have more gratitude that he does not have to be drafted into the military, meaning he would have to go to a war zone because I would not want to become a grieving mother.
 Here is our President Trump’s speech:  
 “Today, we are no longer enemies; we are friends.


And this port city is bustling with ships from around the world. Engineering marvels, like the Dragon Bridge, welcome the millions who come to visit Da Nang’s stunning beaches, shining lights, and ancient charms.



In the early 1990s, nearly half of Vietnam survived on just a few dollars a day, and one in four did not have any electricity.   
Today, an opening Vietnamese economy is one of the fastest-growing economies on Earth. It has already increased more than 30 times over, and the Vietnamese students rank among the best students in the world.   And that is very impressive…”


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 Translated to #Viet Language: 
Đà Nẵng trước đây từng là căn cứ quân sự của Mỹ, nơi chứng kiến nhiều người cả hai bên hy sinh trong chiến tranh. Ngày hôm nay chúng ta không còn là kẻ thù nữa, thành phố này đã đạt rất nhiều thành tựu. 
Tôi vừa mới đi qua Cầu Rồng, nơi này đã đón rất nhiều bạn bè quốc tế.



Đầu những năm 1990, nửa dân số Việt Nam chỉ sống với mức vài USD một ngày. 
Ngày nay, với một nền kinh tế cởi mở, Việt Nam là một trong những nền kinh tế phát triển nhanh nhất thế giới, khi kinh tế tăng trưởng hơn 30 lần. Và sinh viên Việt Nam thuộc trong những nhóm sinh viên đứng hàng đầu thế giới.”


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                  “Chúng ta không còn là kẻ thù của nhau”  (President Trump)


Yes, Indeed. Make Love, not war. 


Or, as Gandhi taught: ” An eye for an eye will leave everyone blind.” 
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! 





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I am grateful to have “relived” my childhood years during my recent visit to my motherland #VietNam.



                          Selfie @ Hoan Kiem Lake in the 1010-year-old city Ha Noi, Viet Nam


When I was growing up, the only photos we had were student ID’s and, perhaps once a year, a family portrait.  We never thought of taking photos of our home or surroundings, because our Dad was prudent and frugal reminding us: 
 “Waste not, want not.  Keep the main thing the main thing.”
 The main thing according to my Dad is food on the table, clothes on our back, and the luxury to afford school because in Viet Nam, there were no freebies.  You have to pay to have an education, which inspired us to study harder to earn good grades, and get accepted to a Government school free of charge. 
 Fast forward November 2017 ~
 It was an emotional roller coaster for me when I saw this setting.  
It was an exact replica of our childhood  home, as if someone took photos of our home prior to 1975 and duplicated the setting:


                                        The Living Room set 



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                  A motorcycle parked on the patio.



                                    A Black dial telephone. 
At that time, telephone calls were considered a luxury, but, because my Mom died when all of us were still very young, my Dad needed a phone to get hold of us when needed.



A solid wood dining table that we spent many happy days eating, talking, and making fun of one another. 
An oil lamp, ready for use when there was no power.
A round insulated container to keep the teapot hot with tea. 


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                          A “Black and White” television set. 
At that time, there was only black and white.  We only had 2 hour television from 7 – 9 pm.  My family was the only family in the neighborhood that had a television.  So, around 6:30 pm, our home would fill quickly with neighbors anxiously waiting to watch TV.  It was a jolly time laughing together, at comedy (Phi Thoan, Thanh Viet) or crying together saddened by (Kim Cuong, known as Viet Meryl Streep). 
Our home was pleasantly chaotic filled with activity; those were the good old days, indeed!  


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THANK YOU VIET NAM, my motherland that gave me roots and THANK YOU AMERICA for nurturing, raising and supporting me to become the person I am. 
November is a Thanksgiving month.  THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart …  



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