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bao tran | profile | all galleries >> Galleries >> Vietnam - Jan 2009 tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Vietnam - Jan 2009

I left Vietnam in 1992 and have not been back until 2009 to work on a research project. I returned as a foreigner - with my broken, halting Vietnamese and a hazy grasp of the culture and customs. Being there stirred up many hidden visceral memories - the smell of exhaust fumes, cigarettes, and street food, the droning propaganda from loudspeakers each morning, the soft mud along river banks between your toes... I left the country with a deeper appreciation for warmth and tenacity of our people but also with a lingering sense of guilt - an understanding that fate often trumps ability, and I've been dealt lucky cards all my life.
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