Thursday, August 18, 2011

On the Road Again

And again.  And again. 
Am almost finished packing.  Quick load of wash later and that should do it.  I don’t think luggage weight is going to be a problem.  I came here with some things I knew I would leave behind.  Didn’t buy much while here.  Tomorrow at 1 PM Aussie time (Friday 11 PM on the east coast) I’ll take off for Ho Chi Minh City by way of Darwin.  It is going to be a long day with a ten hour flight plus layover.  After ten days in Vietnam it is off to Taipei for a bit over a week and then back to the States.   When I do get back home any man interfering with my ability to watch some NCAA Division I Football in the TV room (gotta say it:   WE ARE . . . PENN STATE) will be at risk of serious harm or injury.  I’m jonesing.

The trip to Viet Nam should be interesting.  From arrival to 25 August I will stay in a Jesuit house in the city near the French-built cathedral.  I can have a few days to wander around alone and shoot photos.  One of the other tertians, John The (pronounced more or less tay), who entered the Society in Germany, is going to arrive on 24 August.  On 25 August he is taking me on a three-day trip to the Mekong Delta.  We will stay with a community of nuns (religious life is like belonging to the universe's largest private bed and breakfast association).  From the Delta we will return to Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) and I will move out to the scholasticate, the house for young Jesuits, of which there are many in Viet Nam.  I knew the provincial when we were in theology together and will thus have a chance to see him.  After three days there I will make the short (3 ½ hours) flight to Taipei.  Taipei, one of my favorite places on earth, is like visiting home.  I am self-sufficient on the subway and some of the buses.    

I don’t know if I will have time or internet access to post photos while in Viet Nam.  In Taipei there will be both time and good internet access so I will do so from there if not sooner.  It has been a good tertianship but I am happy it is over.  I left the U.S. on 27 December and, while I’ve been out of the country for up to a year at a time in the past, it is time to go home.

Attached (of course) are a few photos that I found  while editing the still-too-large-number.  

The first is a reminder to take the photo when you can.  This is a gate at Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan.  I took this in 2008.  When Ignatius and I went back there in January I wanted to take a few more views.  Its gone.  It has been replaced by an ugly concrete barricade. 
Though I would like to go back to Sun Moon Lake in two weeks it is time to see something else.   I've been there a few times.  Perhaps on the next trip.  The next is a shot of Sun Moon Lake, one of the truly beautiful spots in Taiwan. 
Speaking of  beautiful spots.  This is one of the vines at Sevenhill.  Lent seems long ago. 
One of the things I like to photograph is reflections in mirrors or windows.  This is near the Victoria Market in Melbourne at the end of Royal Parade.  It is a rather confusing intersection to cross, especially for a Yankee who is never sure from what directions the cars are approaching. 
Students don't change the world over.  Coffee shop equals study hall.  This is at the University of Melbourne.   As much as I loved being an undergrad at Penn State I wouldn't want to do it now.   Being on the cusp of old age is not a bad thing.  
And finally my room as packing is almost done.  Actually it is the camera angle.  There is an absolute disaster in the unseen corners and in the wardrobe.  
+Fr. Jack

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