Leaving Laos went smoothly. Our flight was 45 minutes…we were instructed to taxi off to the right of runway 11 R. This was the opposite side of the airport where our briefing directed us last evening. There were 4-5 commercial airlines awaiting our touch down, waiting for clearance to take the runway. While that made us feel a little important—the tides changed because we ended up holding for 45 minutes before we were escorted to the assigned parking position!! Thank God for air-conditioning — 113 degrees!! This was our record length for a taxi hold. Two of our comrades were assigned holding patterns before cleared to land…either way we all burned extra jet fuel today. Busy airport!
July 3, afternoon Tom and I visited the “Maison Centrale” (Central House, a traditional euphemism to denote prisons in France). The people call it Hoa Lo Prison (by it’s location) the French colonialists built it in 1896 to hold thousands of Vietnamese patriotic and revolutionary fighters. August 1964 – March 1973 part of the prision was used for captured American pilots who were shot down in North Vietnam. John McCain spent time in this prison in 1967….it is interesting to see photos and read the Vietnam “slant” on the how the US POWs were given the “best possible living conditions”. American refer to this prison as the “Hanoi Hilton”.
Late July 3–Michelle and George arrived in Hanoi to spend a week with us. We are thrilled to have them join us on this amazing journey!