November 24

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Happy Thanksgiving….being away from home makes this Thanksgiving special which on surface may sound negative, but in reality it is positive, being away makes me appreciate what I have more, being away from the family makes me appreciate them more.   The tradition of Thanksgiving is not observed here in Vietnam…but for me I think they have Thanksgiving every day.    Like the Native Americans and Pilgrims the Vietnamese culture is very communal and nightly dinner is a time for gathering, sharing and all are welcome to join.    As far as our traditions no there are no Turkey’s to cook, plenty of Chicken’s, Duck’s and Goose but no Turkey’s.    Not sure about Pumpkin Pie but I am sure they have some form of desert made from a gourd.  For sure there are no Dallas Cowboy or Packer games to watch. I wish you have a great Thanksgiving Feast with your family.   I hope to join my family via Viber.

sp12Back to my Vietnam adventure, nine down and one to go.   What about Nha Trang ?  I decided last weekend to skip Nha Trang and use this goal as a reason to return to this great country.

So last weekend I left the country and visited Singapore.    Singapore often referred to as the Lion City is the world’s only island city-state. Singapore is a small island with over 10 million residents.   Like Hong Kong Singapore is a global commerce, finance and transport hub.   If I had to compare the two I would prefer Singapore as it felt more open, the City felt cleaner, was more open and beautiful views of the bay.  The City was very modern with an excellent subway system, covered most of the island in 2 days all via the subway system.

sp11

Highlights of my weekend were visiting multiple open markets, the best was in what they call Little India.    Great vive I felt like I was in Delhi and the food court was amazing.    First I had Biryani and then I went back for Curry Chicken and finished off with a new dish for me Dosai.    Amazing, I felt so immersed I found myself eating with my hands like the locals.   For a big City on a small island Singapore did not feel crowded and there is plenty to keep you busy….I hope you can get a since of the City from the photo’s below.

On the work front things are moving along well.   Happy to hear that much of the recommendations I made to the team are being incorporated in the 2017 plan for implementation.   In the NGO world projects are all centered on funding and opportunities.   Several of the concepts to increase align the Public and Private sectors around TB care in the community were included in a project called TB Reach.   The Reach project was recently approved which means that CHAI will not receive grant funding to implements some of the changes.

Next week we will be holding a big leadership conference in Bangkok for all CHAI Directors & teams in Southeast Asia.   I have been leading the coordination of the conference so it’s been a busy week finalizing plans.   It should be an interesting week in Bangkok, our meeting is the same time that Thailand’s new King officially takes office.    So it may be like being in Washington DC the week that President Trump is sworn in. Will update you in my next blog…..have a great holiday.

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