It’s been another great week on the road to Saigon. Moral is still high and my fitness is back, although my pace per km is getting slower and slower.
This week started with a couple of rest days in Dong Hoi. I’d met Kelly a couple of days previously, on his cycle journey around the world, and we met up at a hostel and propped up the bar on Monday evening. Mikey, a friend from Saigon flew up on Tuesday and we spent the day wandering the empty city streets and visiting the local museum.
It’s been a really interesting running week, Mikey and I found ourselves having to run a 38km day, my longest yet, to find accomodation as there are long stretches of desolated landscape in this part of the country. Sadly, the people of Quang Binh and Quang Tri Provinces, which I have been running through are still discovering unexploded bombs dropped during the war. There are a few NGO’s working here clear the areas but I was informed by Vietnamese journalist, Tao Huong, that people are still being killed by these devices. We had a really interesting conversation over a strong coffee and I learned more about the rural education system in Vietnam.
On our penultimate day running together, we unexpectedly reached a really significant point in my journey (as well as the history of this awesome country). We ran from north to south Vietnam over the Hien Luong Bridge.
In the recent past, battles were fought on the river banks as propaganda was blasted out over the loud speakers. In the museum we saw beautiful photographs of north and south Vietnamese reuniting after the war and many quotes and monuments celebrating peace. The heritage site was empty and we were able to explore and recognise the significance of where we were. I am so pleased to have been able to share this specific experience with Mikey as I found it quite emotional and was able to chat about it with someone. Doing the majority of this journey solo is teaching me how much I value shared experiences.
On Saturday afternoon we reached Dong Ha and celebrated and warmed up with a bottle of delicious red wine (thanks Mikey!)
I am now over 700km into my 2000+km journey and feel like I am making real progress. I love looking at the map and seeing how far I’ve come. By Christmas, I hope to be in Da Nang, which is the half way point of my challenge. I count myself really lucky that I am able to take time out to complete this journey and hopefully make a significant difference to the lives of children and women in Vietnam.
I am over half way to reaching my fundraising goal. This money means that more children will be able to attend school and get the education they deserve. It will also help to support the end the existence of human trafficking. Education and personal safety is something that I have always been lucky enough to take for granted. This is not always the case and together we can end this injustice.
Thank you so much for reading and please donate as little or as much as you can. As little as, 600k VND/ £22/ $30 is enough to feed a street kid for an entire month. This is a small amount to most of us but literally life saving for some children.
You can also sign up to come and run with me. I promise I will be slower than you! The link is on my website http://www.namrunsnam.com
Love Naomi (aka Nam)