We have officially completed the final day of our international tour to Indonesia and Vietnam, and we spent this last day by visiting the Mekong Delta near Ho Chi Minh City. When we arrived, we boarded small boats which took us to a little village across the river. There, we saw a small factory where coconut candies of many varieties are produced, and we all had an opportunity to purchase several packages of this candy.
After visiting the candy factory, we then walked a short way to carts that were pulled by donkeys which we rode to our next location, a small outdoor rest area where we were given fruit and entertained with traditional Vietnamese music. We then got on yet another boat, but these particular boats only seated four people each. We were taken back to our main boat by a short ride through a stream surrounded by beautiful plant life.
We then had lunch at a beautiful location at which we arrived by boat. This was our last moment together before heading to the airport to begin our long journey home, and Dr. Crane took this opportunity to thank a few people for their efforts during these past three weeks; the president and vice-president of BYU Singers, Tyrell Wilde and Laynee Overall, who have been exceptional in day-to-day organizational efforts; the golden standard of a graduate assistant, Heidi Webb, who has assisted in all things choral, the staging efforts of each performance, and helped to provide snacks and other necessities for the choir; and our tour manager, Rex Barrington, and his wife, Dixie Barrington, who have been phenomenal in the scheduling of each and every day, as well as keeping us healthy throughout our time in new countries. He obviously wouldn’t thank himself, but Dr. Crane has been an incredible source of direction for the choir throughout these past three weeks. The feelings of unity and love within the choir would not have been possible without his constant positive attitude and his preparation of each concert and rehearsal.
Through Rex Barrington’s careful preparation, we were each given a unique and valuable experience in both Indonesia and Vietnam. We visited several major cities including Jakarta, Bandung, Surakarta, Yogyakarta, and Bali in Indonesia and Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. BYU Singers gave incredible performances in each concert venue and touched the hearts of each audience member. This international tour to Southeast Asia has been invaluable to each person who participated, and there is a clear strengthening power that we have felt in coming together to share the gifts with which each of us have been blessed.