Category Archives: Vietnam

Living history…

Because of your smile you make life more beautiful.  ~Thich Nhat Hanh

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While dining at a restaurant near San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, this friendly gentleman (Pictured on the left in the photo) and his wife were seated at the table next to us.

Being naturally curious we ask, “Where are you from?”

Canada.”

Our Minnesota Nice reflex kicks in and we begin to chat, noticing their accents do not sound like your typical Canadian.

I can’t resist… “Have you always lived in Canada?” Thus, begins their interesting tale…

Following the Fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975, the family business was taken away by the Communists and father/son were both thrown in prison. His father spent seven years in prison… Wow.

Fortunately, his sister was able to flee in a boat eventually relocating in Canada. Years later, she sponsored  him, his wife and two daughters creating an opportunity for a new life in Canada. At age forty they found themselves starting over in a new country learning to understand its culture and language. As a welder and chef, they work extremely hard to make the best of their new lives, allowing them to not only survive, but also thrive. Infectious smiles along with a “glass half full” outlook on life touched our hearts. At age seventy they are still employed and have no desire to retire as long as health allows.

Growing up watching the Vietnam War on the nightly news sparked a fascination with this country and its culture. Being curious and reaching out makes history come alive and I walk away truly inspired.

A lifetime ahead of you…

 

I start uploading this image and gaze upon the flyer notifying me of my 40th year high school class reunion.  Where did the years go?

  • I was in pretty good physical shape in high school, but now parts of me jiggle when I walk.
  • In high school, when I appeared to have confidence I was probably faking it.  Now I just admit it when I’m lacking.
  • While I’m not attending a formal “school,” I still enjoy learning and growing in experiences and knowledge.  It’s just that now when I learn something new, it takes longer and something old has to go.
  • As a senior in high school, I thought it would be an eternity until I would be old, like 30-year-old people.  And now here I sit at 58 and it doesn’t feel old at all. (Today, anyway)
  • Now I realize my parent were much smarter and “in tune” with the world than I ever gave them credit for at age 17.
  • In high school I was afraid of the end of the world, which I attribute to growing up with the Cold War and Vietnam Conflict featured every night on the one channel that came in clearly.  American body count and Viet Cong body count were the leading statistics. Guess the last domino didn’t fall, after all, since we are still a democratic society.
  • But, I really would like to visit Vietnam now…

The last year of high school… a-h-h-h-h…

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Photo by Joyce Meyer

…and a lifetime ahead of you.