It rained in Ha Noi today for the first time since we landed last week. We got caught in the heavy rain on our walk back from dinner and had to stop by a little shop to get rain coats--the thin ones for 5,000VND and the nicer thicker ones for 30,000VND. Sheets of water poured down all of a sudden, accompanied by lightnings. Motobike riders stopped briefly along the sidewalk to put on their rain coats, and then off they went again, thousands of them, undeterred by the wet weather. The rhythm of life...
Grace was carrying Caleb crossing the busy street in the middle of the day and was hit by a motorbike. Streets here are filled with thousands of motorbikes and have no traffic lights. The flow of motorbikes is constant and continuous, disturbed only by ocasional pedestrians trying to cross or on coming vehicles wanting to do a left or U turn. Crossing the street here is an art form and to the great risk of the pedestrian, who simply closes her eyes and starts walking into the masses hoping and praying that the on coming vehicles will see and choose to go around their obstacle. Our country director walked us through this dangerous exercise twice on our first day in the country, and Grace has practiced on her own a couple of times after that. Today, she became the first of all the teachers all these years to be run into. The motobike rider fell, but suffered no major injuries, thankfully. Grace and Caleb got only scratches and bruises, thankfully. She hurried and moved to the center divider to avoid the on coming traffic. A policeman came, saw that everyone was alive, and the rhythm of life continues... but Grace won't be crossing the street again for a while.