Visiting Linh in San Francisco

Last year at this time we were hosting a student from Vietnam named Linh. She spent about 5 1/2 months with us before moving to a second host family for the remainder of the school year. At the time she was 17 years old and was enrolled as a Junior in our local high school. She had a desire to finish her year of school and then go to a college here in America. The problem was that the school wouldn’t allow her to enroll as a senior (school rules with exchange students) so she wouldn’t be receiving a diploma. She was very disappointed, but was determined to find a way.

She finished her schooling in June and then returned back to her home in Hanoi. Over the next two months she found a college that would accept her credits and allow her to enroll as an incoming freshman. In September she started her first semester of college at The University of Charleston, West Virginia. She’s taken on a full schedule, joined some clubs, plays drums with the band, and has even found time to have a part time job in one of the cafeterias. I don’t know where she gets the energy, but I’d love to be that young again and have some of that energy.

We’ve kept in contact through email over the past year. Rather than stay in West Virginia for the holidays she decided to come back to California to visit the friends she had met last year. She first flew into San Francisco to stay with some friends. I went to the city yesterday to spend the day with her to catch up on how she’s doing.

We started our day at the Exploratorium. It’s a hands-on science museum located at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. The museum is filled with all sorts of interactive science exhibits that allow visitors to have fun while learning a thing or two. Kids and adults have a lot of fun checking out all of the exhibits.

After the museum we went down to Fisherman’s Wharf for lunch. We ate at a restaurant called “Rainforest Cafe”. When you’re inside eating it’s as if you’re in a jungle with gorillas, elephants, cheetahs, and all sorts of other animated wildlife scattered about. For a themed restaurant the food is actually pretty good, albeit a bit pricey. It’s still a fun place to take someone for the first time.

Linh has a fascination with China so I took her down to Chinatown for a walk along the streets. She loved going into all of the shops to see what she could find. She ended up buying a few little items to take back home with her.

At the end of our day I brought Linh back to Stockton with me so she could stay at one of her friends’ house. On our way back across the Bay Bridge I stopped at Treasure Island to show her the view of San Francisco across the water. The lights and colors made for a really nice view.

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