Some time ago, I promised to post pictures of my trip to Southeast Asia. I’ve spent the last three days trying to take advantage of a seasonal sale on hardcover photo books. I’ve been up to my proverbial eyeballs in those images of late and I’m actually a little tired of them at this point.
Nonetheless, on the wall above my desk, along with the watercolors and map, are a few of the pictures that I find I want to keep looking at. Not in a Fabulous Photography kind of way, just in quiet They Speak to Me kind of way.
They remind me of things I want to remember.
That’s not what I’m posting today.
Today, I am drawn to a handful of pictures from Viet Nam that tell stories from perhaps unwitting teachers. People whose lives offered lessons worth learning. These are the real gems of the trip.
[Click images for captions.]
This historian and author (aged 96) invited us to a sumptuous home-cooked lunch and shared stories from his long and eventful life. A remarkable introduction to a place with such a rich and challenging history. Fluent in several languages, he still writes a weekly column for the English-language newspaper.
Stop worrying about how you look, or if you are too old. Just do what makes you feel healthy and strong..
This woman thought it was a riot that I asked [well, gestured] for permission to take a picture of her with her pig guts. Yes: this is how sausage is made. Unlike in the US, life science is a very transparent thing in Viet Nam.
40,000 people have died since the war from odnance that remained, unexploded. Project Renew works to educate children and train adults to reduce the continuing carnage. The education director came in on a Saturday with his daughter to talk about their work. Next time you want to complain about the perils our children face….
Quan An, “attentive to all sounds” she who sees and hears all, also has many hands. Capable, calm. A source of strength.
Sometimes the best food was from the most humble kitchens and called for unexpected tools, or none at all.
Simple tools. With the help of a donated calf, a single mom / farmer has parlayed her efforts into enough money to build a home larger than the 8×10 single room in which she lives with her young son.
Life is all about relationships in Viet Nam. This restaurant proprietor wanted to know who was older, he or my father, so he would know how to address him with appropriate respect.
Halong Bay – nevermind what I said about the people. It really is a gorgeous country.
Life Lesson #21 Revisited (Corollary): Get in front of the greatest teachers — and great teachers show up in unexpected places.