Back in the states, we both would work until 7pm every night, meandering home through Seattle traffic, and, if one of us had the energy, threw some dinner together so we could eat around 9pm. Insert 2-3 hours of Netflix and we are looking at a typical midnight to 1am bedtime. One of the biggest changes from our short time in Vietnam is early bedtimes and early rising, and no TV! Its wild guys.
The natural rhythm of the Vietnamese people is an early rise and an early bedtime, and from our first week in Vietnam we quickly adopted this cycle. Excitement certainly is a big driver when finding the energy to swing your legs over the bedside. Getting excited for the same job, the same commute that we had done for a decade probably had something to do with that. Anywhoo, back to the joys of early rising.
Whenever Mandy and I explore a new place, we are determined to find new places to go without the assistance of a physical guide wherever we can. We had the opportunity to do just that our second day in Phan Thiet. There are two sets of dunes just outside of Mui Ne, the white and red dunes. We elected to try out the Red Dunes and it was a fantastic place to watch the sun rise. Literally felt like we were on Mars. So much so that when I sat down to right this post I had to put on David Bowie “Life on Mars”. We were one of the first out on the dunes and were able to move throughout to different vantage points with no one around us in our immediate vicinity, it was great. No money required for this gem of an experience, aside from the taxi ride to get us there.
The only thing marring the raw beauty of the dunes was the trash. Like most of Vietnam so far, there is a good amount of, as the Brits and Aussies call it, rubbish. Mandy, overcome by the sheer volume started picking up as much trash as she could fit into a plastic bag tumbleweed. I followed suit, and by the end of our walk out of the dunes our hands were full of rubbish. This is but a small act, but it truly seems if we were all able to do a small part every day, perhaps a dent could be put into the damage humanity intentionally, or unintentionally, does to our mother Earth.
There may not be life on Mars, but there is an abundance of life on Earth. I want nothing more than for future generations to shoot out of bed to watch sunrises in nature free from plastics and trash. I want them to swim in oceans brimming with life, not barren graveyards from over fishing and human influence. When you see a piece of trash on the ground, pick it up. Big change is a summary of a host of small actions and reactions.