Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A New Day

Of course it is hard to think of Viet Nam without awakening images of the past. I'm not sure that I can do a post without lurking memories. Of course my recollections, although poignant, pale in importance and intensity to those who were here. For all people in the war zone, I feel sorrow and gratitude.

The boat is now moving, We are floating down the Mekong to our next site. I look about at the shores and see fishing boats, verdant tropical landscape, small villages, and people going about their business. It is over 40 years later.

Yesterday, my first full day onshore in a small town, Chau Doc, I had the morning to wander about before the afternoon guided tour. I slipped off by myself and began snapping pictures of street signs, buildings, bits of detail, and, of course, my favorite subject, people. I was met with curiosity, smiles, and good will. I have only a moment to complete this post before breakfast and also while I still have signal. My desire is to let the pictures tell the story, but it is a challenge to bring up even one picture since the signal is unstable. Anyway this is Viet Nam today. There are so many others, people in suits, workers on motor bikes, children grinning and of course the elderly, who remember.


  1. Great photos and a very moving post. Thanks for sharing a very wonderful experience. It and your trip in general has stirred many memories of that time.

  2. This makes the third time I've read your post. The first two times were in my inbox earlier, and then again just now. I wish it could have been longer, and I imagine you do too. OTOH maybe it shouldn't be, because it's perfect just the way it is. It makes me so happy to see you hitting your stride and finding your focus. I picked up on that right away, the first time I read your post.

    I'm glad you had a chance to wander off by yourself, unguided and unsupervised, to see the real Vietnam. I love doing that too, although the places I wander off to see are of necessity a lot less exotic and as a matter of fact, often downright grubby. But what else would you expect in San Bernardino? The Asian restaurant in the fish market on E Street is as close as I'm likely to get to Vietnam.

    The war evokes so many powerful memories in all of us who came of age at that time. It's interesting how different and individual the responses are too--mine from yours, and also from the other people who comment on your blog. For me your posts evoke many associations with John Kerry and swift boats, through nothing more than the words "Mekong River." I think of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, the Winter Soldier testimony, and the sequel to all that in the 2004 election campaign. I find myself thinking about 2004 a lot more than the present quadrennial farce.

    The Vietnam War cast such long shadows in so many lives and places.

  3. It's a wonderful series ... great smiles on those faces. HGTV had a show on last night about a couple buying a home in Vietnam. It was very interesting.