Saigon -11 Days in the Delta Part 1

“Do I think America belongs in Vietnam? I don’t know, I know I belong in Vietnam, I’ll tell ya that”

One of the great quotes from Stanley Kubrick’s brilliant Full Metal Jacket was used to suggest the potential lunacy of a soldier during the siege of Hue’ city in what the Vietnamese refer to as “The American War.” I have begun with this quote to illustrate my own opinion before, and most certainly after my recent visit to Vietnam. Vietnam is not the jungle den of iniquity carefully constructed in post-war Hollywood, but perhaps the most compelling argument for the resiliency of the human spirit even in the aftermath of human aggression that I have had the privilege to witness in my travels. Beginning here with a quote from a dramatized time that most of the west still equates to Vietnam seems appropriate as it is strewn with misconceptions. The Vietnam that I experienced has taken enormous pride in letting go of any conceptualized victimization and as a nation Vietnam has moved forward to adjust and excel at its most natural talents which stand in stark contrast to the prejudices, anger, and futility of war. [Read more…]

Saigon – City of Color

Interior of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Saigon

Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City as it is now formally called is easily one of the most vivacious places I have seen in my travels.

Rising from the ashes of war and abject poverty, Vietnam as a nation is firing on all cylinders. The changes in culture, quality of life, and wealth are all over Saigon.

This is a country that has gained almost 40 million people since the end of the war in 1975. These are industrious, friendly, and perhaps the happiest people I have encountered anywhere on the planet. [Read more…]

Images of Asia by Juliet Williams Housewright

The Lucky Garden - Hong Kong

Juliet Williams Housewright is my wife. She has one of the keenest eyes for photos of anyone I have met. She views the world with greater awareness and much more tolerance than I do and all of this gives her photos a perspective I cannot duplicate and can only admire.

On our trip to Hong Kong and Vietnam last year Juliet was equipped only with an old iPhone 3G and yet she still found a way to transcribe her intentions into photos that awe me in their simplicity and quiet observation. [Read more…]

To Juliet on our 2nd Anniversary

My Kind of Bride

“O my love, my wife!
– William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, 5.3

As the Royal wedding was yesterday I find it appropriate to quote some Shakes publicly for the first time in our 4 and 1/2 year journey as we generally try to avoid references to R&J. Today is about much more than a milestone, a single moment in time, or the business of celebration. Today is about discovery, just as everyday has been since December 11, 2006. This week has been about reflection for me and the realization that Juliet has given so much to our relationship and I am not sure I have ever expressed my gratitude completely. [Read more…]

Vietnam: The Phu Quoc Island Chronicles

I came to Vietnam looking for the heart of darkness and somehow I found the light.  After 3 days going down the Mekong like Martin Sheen and finishing my nights with Chanh Muoi (amazing pickled limes with soda) I was blown away by the kindness of the people and the remarkable distance a few US$ could carry me.

Papaya Salad (Course 2 of Many)

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