A Promise kept in Denver
(For my close colleague at Can Tho Newspaper)
I have been so glad that at last, I can realize my promise to a close colleague in Vietnam. One day after seeing my snow photos early this month, she messaged via YM and asked me to make a snowman for her. I promised her that I would when I came to Denver for a Fulbright seminar last weekend because Colorado is home to snow-capped mountains.
I intended to make a snowman for her right after the day she made her request because then it snowed much again in Boston. But I felt lazy to get out of house and thought subjectively that I would surely see the snow when I arrived in Denver.
But I was quite disappointed right after setting foot on the capital city of Colorado. I felt so hot. On the way to the hotel, I saw no snow at all. I began worrying about breaking my promise, especially after I checked the local weather forecast which said there would be clear sky during my four-day stay. But, I still hope to see some snow because our scheduled activities in Denver included a trip to the Rocky Mountain.
On Saturday morning, my hope went higher when I saw from the distance the mountains still covered with strips of snow. Coming to the kindergarten where I and 41 fellow Fulbrighters did community services, I saw some snow left in front of the school. After finishing my duty, I went outside to the small heap of snow and found that the snow looked quite dirty and became so hard that I was unable to remove some to make a snowman.
When I arrived in the Red Rocks Park & Amphitheater about 40 minutes drive from downtown, I knew that making a snowman would be within my reach. The snow in the mountain looked purer and smoother which made it easier to make a snowman. I tried to make one in a hurry way because I did not want to make my friend wait for me while we were hiking around the mountains.
On the way down to the foot of a mountain, I saw the snow as white and pure as the one I saw in New Hampshire and Boston, I decided to stop by and made two snowmen with my best efforts. That was also the first time I made a snowman.
The trip to the Rocky Mountains on Saturday afternoon and evening was most likely the last time I saw the snow because at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 11, America began to switch back to Daylight Saving Time. That officially marked the arrival of Spring 2012.
A promise was kept in Denver where another promise was made.
When we had a farewell diner at the Fort, the well-acclaimed restaurant on the mountain, I promised a man from the State Department who joined us as a representative of our sponsor, the Fulbright Program that I would serve him a Vietnamese meal if we meet again in Boston or in my country, Vietnam. He said he loved phở, Vietnamese beef noodle which he had in Washington D.C. I told him that I love making Vietnamese foods and showed him the photos of Vietnamese dishes I made in Boston.
Although we talked several times during the seminar, I did not think that he would remember what I promised because there were nearly 140 Fulbright students coming to Denver. I was quite surprised when I had breakfast on Sunday, he came to our table and reminded me of my promise half-jokingly. I also replied half-jokingly that I would keep my promise as long as he would keep his promise to visit Vietnam, the only nation in South East Asia he said he has not arrived yet since he became a diplomat.
“Do not surprise to get my email some day,” he said before saying goodbye to us.
(Great memories of Denver, Colorado, March 8-11, 2012)