I’m not scheduled to celebrate Mass or preach until after returning to the U.S. It is wretchedly hot in Taipei at the moment with periodic downpours. Good time to sit in front of the fan and play with photos.
As soon as I saw these guys the ear-worm hit. For the next thirty minutes or so I hummed, sang and (internally) swayed to Patti Page’s hit “Cross Over the Bridge.” Those were the days of true music. Nonetheless, navigating these bridges requires some degree of caution. I’d hate to try it after three beers.
The three amigos were riding their motorbikes back from school on Friday afternoon.
This kitten was on the doorsill of a family that invited us in for a quick cold drink down in the Mekong Delta. They were Catholic and knew sister well.
Sister took John and me to a beach that he had never seen. During the war it was one of the departure points for the boat people. The earlier photos of the brightly colored boats were from that trip. These three boys had just been released from school. The joy of Friday afternoon is universal. They really started hamming it up when they saw my camera. Afterwards they put on their flip-flops, hopped on their full-size bikes (no helmets here) and made off to the next adventure. It was a nostalgic moment. I still love Friday afternoons when I'm done working (unless I'm on call).
The children here are as exuberant as everywhere else. Shoes optional. The government prohibits religious orders from running schools except for kindergartens. The Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres have several kindergartens. The one at the motherhouse has 1300 children. Kindergarten is longer than one year (I think from 3 to 5 years of age) and the kiddos are segregated according to age. Kindergarten includes breakfast and lunch. The kids arrive by 7 AM. I guess that explains the kiddo in the orange stripes letting loose with a big yawn.
The kids noticed me after a while and began to wave and smile. But, before that they exhibited a full range of facial expressions as they ate their mid-morning snack.
The last was as we were leaving on yet another excursion on 26 August. The young sister in the back took John and me to visit her family where we had the fresh coconut water pictured in an earlier post. Whip out a camera and a crowd congregates.
Religious life is alive and well in Viet Nam. The SPC’s have 25 novices (two year novitiate) and even more candidates. There are over 1000 of them in Viet Nam divided into three provinces. See earlier photo of the Jesuit novices.
The next three photos show children who were entertaining at Mother Provincial’s feast day celebration. They are dancers who are deaf. The little kids were cute. The boys doing the break dancing were amazing. I had to race to my room to get the spare battery just before they began and only caught half the performance. Drat.
Back in Saigon I wandered into a street market. No room for a shopping cart here. Just bring your motorcycle.
I took this photo in January in Taiwan. Ignatius and I were visiting some of his family and decided to stop in the town of Puli where there is a paper factory. He was a tad bored but I was going berserk with the camera. Everything in this photo is made of paper.
That is all for now.
+Fr. Jack, SJ