"She seemed to come suddenly upon happiness as if she had surprised a butterfly in the Winter woods"
(edith wharton)

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

onto the Cambodian border

there were quite a few tours on offer at our hotel and we took the opportunity to do as many as possible.. a day tour to the Cu-chi tunnels and then onto the Cambodian border to visit a Temple..

first of all the tunnels.. I had never heard of them before I went to Vietnam. You see, I wasn't very old when the war was going on and I guess I was a little removed living where I did. Oh, yes, we had friends go to war but our life went on as normal... I don't think we even had a television until about 1972 !!
so off to the tunnels... first thing we did was watch a movie.. it was a propaganda movie made by the North Vietnamese... gawd.. I watched the first few seconds and then closed my eyes and went off somewhere else. Then off for a walk around the area. They have preserved alot of the tunnels and it is open to the public. The trees have grown back and are now 10 years old. We walked where B-52 bombs were dropped, the craters were huge! Joe actually went into the tunnels and he said they were like rabbit warrens, I could not bring myself to go down as I felt i would die from claustrophobia. We walked past a tank that was left by America, right in the middle of the jungle. As I walked along the jungle paths, I said prayers and sent love and light out.. it was all I could do.. to try and heal the heartache felt by many. I did not take any photos while I was there as I felt I was on hallowed ground, men died there and I have read that where a person dies that the ground immediately becomes sacred and angels live there.. and yes, I could feel that... it was the same feeling that I had when I stood at the World Trade Centre site in New York in 2001, just after the terroist attack.
it is actually interesting to talk to some of our friends who are Vietnam vets, they are very interested in our time there and keep asking what it is like now.. some of them wish to go back and see it. They have told us of their experiences and what it was like for them at the time

I keep feeling I have to apologize for visiting Vietnam, not sure why, as I wanted to go to see the country as I had heard it was beautiful. And it was. Lotus grew along side the roadways, people worked in rice paddies, fruit grew wild... as we travelled further in towards the Cambodian border, to a temple owned by the very odd sect Cao Dai...

the Temple was incredible and we were allowed inside to see the people preparing for Mass....very ornate and colourful. The religion is a hybrid of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucuanism and Christianity

there are many levels that you must achieve before you get to God, you must attend mass once a day and women are segregated from the men. They all wear white and their level of achievment is signified by a different hat... up at the altar there is a huge globe and in the middle of it is a very large eye.. that I think signified God... very weird as I felt I was being watched all the time and I even got a feeling of not being good enough.. ..I must admit, I felt very uneasy as I watched the people getting ready. Sick and drained. I forgot to protect myself before I went and when I arrived home I had to a very long auric cleansing as i still felt very drained and nauseous. Thankfully I had take some consecration oil with me as well as one of my garnets..
then back home late in the afternoon.. to busy Saigon where all manner of transport is allowed on the city streets including this rickshaw that was pedalled by a little old vietnamese man...

today in Woodford the sky is cloudy... not rainy clouds but those kind of clouds that make the air feel very still,.... like time has stopped for a little while... I hope to get into my garden this afternoon. Yesterday, the magpies were in my trees, about 30 of them, all calling to each other... as i heard them, I realised that yes, I am connected to nature ... I sat and listened for a few minutes and felt blessed.
oh and don't forget Faery Land opens soon... June 1st and continuing through the month of June...


sorrow11 said...

What an interesting experience, I am glad that you were able to go, and I find it fascinating that you feel a need to apologize. i am sure there is some meaning in there somewhere...
The temple photo s were beautiful, thank you so much for sharing your trip! it's wonderful to be able to kind of "go" with you...

Mari said...

I can understand why Vietnam vets are so curious about the country. That tiny country was one of the biggest parts of their lives.

they left with some good memories, but many left with horrible memories they never forgot and never recovered from.

A local veteran just returned from a visit to Vietnam. he was shocked that the vietnamese people showed him no anger, they welcomed him with open arms. He visited places he had been while serving there, and he came away more healed, more peaceful inside than he had been since the day he left vietnam all those years ago. I wish more could go back.

My Brother was a Vietnam Veteran. he came home a tortured soul.

I don`t think you should feel bad for visiting Vietnam. It is a differant country from the one our veterans knew.

peppylady said...

Welcome back I haven't stop in for a while now.

I heard about the tunnels after the war.
As you I was quite young when the Vietnam war was going on. I have older cousin who serve.

I personal find war quite frightening mainly because I feel like our political people and media lies to us for the real reason why we have to fight wars.

I find it some what strange for you apologizing about your trip to Vietnam.
But I don't know why if I blog about my spiritual self. I feel like I need to make some type of statement that I might offend mainly the Christians.

I been planting for it spring here and it been raining most weekend.

A bird in the hand said...

I'm travelling through Vietnam and Cambodia vicariously, through you.

I couldn't help wondering who decides the levels of achievement in that sect. (I think it would unsettle me, too)


Pam said...

I found this post so interesting Robyn, with the temple and how the trip made you feel.Very insightful.Each country certainly has its own sounds, and chortling magpies combined with dewy mornings, or the harshness of the cark-carking glossy crows is something I truly love about our Australian countryside.I used to love the sound of the butcher bird too until I found out why it was given that name.Thank you for sharing your experiences with us.

Leanne said...

oh faeryland! cant wait! will you send out invires again robyn?

leanne x

lila said...

Robyn you are a wonderful tour guide! All of the scenes you shared in the last few posts made me feel as if I was seeing this too!
The food looked delicious and that temple was very unusual!
(I like the cheerful Van Gogh poppies too!)

Ruth said...

I think healing of war sites takes a very long time - there are battle fields in UK from hundreds of years ago that still feel haunted.

amelia said...

Did you enjoy your weekend away?

Sacred Suzie said...

What unusual that you feel apologetic about going there Robyn? I think it shows your adventurous spirit and open mind. You learned so much in your travels there! Thank you for sharing them with us.

Gemma said...

VietNam seems like it would be awesome because of it's beauty. I wouldn't like all the scars of war there either. Looking forward to the fairy portal opening.

Rowan said...

No need to apologize for visiting Vietnam, this was a really interesting post and you've seen some lovely places as well the dreadful reminders of war. UK wasn't involved in the |Vietnam war so it doesn't have quite the same emotive connections as it does for people from the US. Even so I remember the horrors of that war from newspaper reports of the time. It's good that people go and see the country now and balance those dreadful memories with the good things about Vietnam.

motherwintermoon said...

What a fascinating journey, Robyn! A mixture of tragedy and pain, beauty and wild terrain.

Through your energy and depiction, I could 'feel' why the hierarchy in the Temple, as visually spectacular as it is, evoked an unsettling emotional response in you.

Then back to Woodford, with the 30 magpies serenading you. What a enlightening tour it was, coming full circle into your little sanctuary of love.

Thank you! xo, MW

Anonymous said...

I can understand your feelings, I think, about Vietnam. I feel "apologetic" for being an American right now with the War that's going on that no-one seems to talk about. Except for those who have lost Sons, or Daughters, Wives or Husbands, Mommies or Daddies. Or the Vets that are missing limbs, or who have been badly burned. . .
I vaguely remember images on T.V. I remember my Brother getting his draft note, and my Father and this other man arguing . . . my Dad said my Brother should serve, and the other man said if it was his son he'd move to Canada.
Anyway, we didn't create war. The Politicians
seem to do that. Although right now I feel that we Americans need to create a revolution! Another Boston Tea Party. . . if everyone would stop driving for one week it would shut the oil companies down . . . of course there are those who couldn't do it 'cause they'd loose their jobs, and those who wouldn't do it 'cause they're spoiled rotten . . . Sorry, as you can see this hits a tender spot.
I don't think you as an individual need to feel guilt Robyn . . . and thank-you so much for the continued sharing of your trip! It seems like a beautiful place! Kel

Julie said...

Please don't apologize to any of us American bloggers for going to Vietnam. I hope my comment before you went didn't make you feel bad. I said something to the effect that I couldn't imagine going to Vietnam on a holiday. I meant for me, not for you.

I had a look at the SE Asia map recently and can't belive how close Australia is. I was trying to find Myanmar. Terrible how we forget our lessons. I think that part of the world was the portion the teacher hurried through at the end of the year.

I am not going to be around blogland very much for a while, but I will not miss faery land while the magic portal is open. I think it is one of the few things that will make me happy. And I for sure will do a post on faery day.

motherwintermoon said...

A fascinating journey, Robyn! Filled with powerful mixed emotions and imagery.

Through your energy and depiction, I could feel why the hierarchy at the Temple, as visually spectacular as it is, felt so unsettling to you.

Then, you take us full circle, back to Woodford and the 30 magpies serenading you, in your sanctuary of love. What an enlightening tour it was. Thank you! xo, MW

motherwintermoon said...

Oops! I sent in two comments to this post because I didn't notice/remember you had comment moderation on and I thought Blogger ate my first comment. Sorry about the repeat, just one of my comments will do! xoxo, MW

tinker said...

From what I've seen from your photos, it IS a beautiful country - and I'm glad it and the people there are healing. Having tourists visit there, must be a good thing for the people and their economy - and perhaps you also brought some much-needed healing energy there with you for them, Robyn~XOXO

Bollinger Byrd said...

I think I understand a bit I went to Sri Lanks many years ago and my sister and I went to the temple of Bhudda's tooth in Kandy and it did feel odd being a tourist in such a sacred place.
can I come to faeryland please.