Thursday, January 13, 2011

Chi Chu Tunnels

On the 18th we went to the Chi Chu Tunnels but not before stopping for a bowl of Pho first thing in the morning. Pho is a bubbling broth into which tons of exotic and undeterminable vegetables and meat has been tossed. It really is a great way to start the day. There's no mid-morning lag after this. Especially if you chase it down with thick, strong Vietnamese coffee. The sweetened condensed milk turns it into almost a coffee pudding. I like mine over ice. The Chi Chu tunnels were where some people lived and found safety during the Vietnam War. They are narrow, dark, airless places where 200 babies where born and grew up. This includes the famous 'napalm girl' who now is living in comfort and fame in Canada. God bless her! The tunnels have been widened for the tourists who tromp through them day after day but I came up short of breath, feeling blanketed top to bottom and grateful to be able to emerge from the darkness. Imagine only knowing this as life. By the way, the tour guide on this trip told us that there are 9 million people in Ho Chi Minh City and 7 million motorbikes. In the afternoon, we met with Mr. Thanh (Amity's middle name but no relation that we know of. In fact it is a very common name. )Mr. Thanh accompanied us to the school and orphanages. (More on that later.) He speaks English, arranged our hotel reservations and permission to photograph at the school and orphanages. He's an affable, good-looking man of 35 who works with Paul's Kids-the foundation formed to help Vietnamese children. Mr Thanh has a wife and two sons. He lives in a modest, one-floor, three room house next door to his parents', where he grew up in Ho Chi Minh City, the former Saigon.




1 comment:

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