Sunday, June 12, 2016


I had the morning to myself, so while Sue and Minh worked, I hung out at the roof top pool. The plan was to sit in the sun and read.

It rained. 
It rained really hard. Big huge fat drops of water. 

So I read inside. 

And in the afternoon, when the sun came out, Sue and I went to the War Remnants Museum
For 90 minutes I fought nausea as I wandered through the exhibits and stared at the images. So many horrific things happened during that Vietnam war. (Probably during all wars. But this one was on display...)

Our capacity for evil know no bounds.
We (as a people) do terrible things to each other, with each generation thinking up new ways to torture their enemies.

The whole time I was walking through those halls of horror, I was saying sorry to God for the way we've messed things up on earth. He gave us such a beautiful place to live and we do atrocious things to it and each other. And I just felt sick at how messed up we are. 

When I couldn't handle it any more, I found Sue outside, on a bench. I sat beside her, and warned her that I was going to cry. She said that was OK. So I let a few tears escape.

The reason I am here is because Sue invited me to join her on a business trip. Her business? Leading seminars, meeting with educational agents and talking to students interested in a North American university education. She (and Minh, a Vietnamese MBA student, studying at Kentucky State) help and encourage young people (and their parents) to submit applications to various universities in the States or TWU in Canada. 

I've been fortunate enough to be able to watch them at work, and to meet with/eat with some of the students. And they are all so eager to live in the USA. 

For two weeks I've seen the excitement and longing that these young people have to move to America.


That museum made it seem like the Americans were Satan's special agents of evil. And yet, despite that, less than one generation later, the young people of this country are eager to go the USA.

And that did my head in.

The ugliness of war.
The hope of a new generation.



I've been going through all my photos, and just reviewed the ones from a week ago when I toured the Cu Chi Tunnels.

For the Viet Cong, life in the tunnels was difficult. Air, food and water were scarce and the tunnels were infested with ants, poisonous centipedes, scorpions, spiders and vermin. Most of the time, soldiers would spend the day in the tunnels working or resting and come out only at night to scavenge for supplies, tend their crops, or engage the enemy in battle. Sometimes, during periods of heavy bombing or American troop movement, they would be forced to remain underground for many days at a time. Sickness was rampant among the people living in the tunnels, especially malaria, which was the second largest cause of death next to battle wounds. A captured Viet Cong report suggests that at any given time half of a PLAF unit had malaria and that “one-hundred percent had intestinal parasites of significance."

I can't imagine.


As I sit here, in Ho Chi Minh city, writing out this blog, watching the news about the shooting in Orlando, I am grateful for the life I've been allowed to live. I am thankful that my boys haven't seen war. I am appreciative of the journey my Omi endured to get her family from Russia to Canada.

I am blessed and lucky.

And also a little bit dumb.

I've been having stomach issues and last night. I'd had enough, so I decided to take the medicine my doctor had prescribed.

Sue threw in the towel tonight as well, and pulled out her meds. She needed relief too.
She was reading her label out loud and said she needed to take one tablet twice a day.

"I only have to take one a day," I said.
"You sure? How many milligrams are yours?"

I get out of bed, grab the bottle and read out loud... "Take one tablet..."

"Oh, wait..." I say, as I turn the container slightly.

"Twice daily."


"I didn't notice that before."

She almost fell off her bed she was laughing so hard.
(Because, uh, the other day she noticed I was taking a sleeping pill that my doctor suggested would be fine for me to take while away. "You take a full pill? You don't take half?"

And then I checked I label, by turning it slightly and reading the whole thing and sure enough. I was supposed to take half. NO WONDER I've been sleeping so well. WHO AM I? SINCE WHEN DO I NOT READ LABELS?)

"Good thing you're not baking cookies. You halved one thing and doubled the other..."


We're leaving first thing tomorrow for Cambodia.
The adventure continues.

Three things I'm thankful for:

1. So much laughter on this trip.
2. As well as good conversations.
3. And amazing sights.
4. This story.

Do you remember this photo? It was taken by a 21 year old. in this area, (Saigon/Ho Chi Minh)  43 years ago during the Vietnam war:

That little girl whose clothes had been burned off her?
Is now a Canadian. Her name is Kim. She is married and has two sons.
She has learned to forgive.

Read the story. 
It is so full of hope.

Shalom, friends.

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