Sunday, January 08, 2006

Vietnam On My Mind

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Somehow I've managed to make it back from Vietnam, although now that I have I'm kind of wishing I hadn't! Getting back to Japan was no easy task, and although I seem to have made it, one of my bags has not. Of course the only thing of importance in it was the large collection of photo CDs full of the pictures I took while I was there. Until it finds it's way back to me, here's one of the last images on my camera.

Meet my adopted daughter, Ba, a 5 year old Black H'moung girl living in Lao Chai village, near Sapa, northern Vietnam. Actually, I think she adopted me. Both her parents are addicted to opium, and most of the time she wanders the tourist-flooded streets of Sapa with her baby brother strapped to her back trying to sell whatever she can. Whenever she spotted me in town she would abandon the tourists she was charming at the time, run to me, hug my legs and take my hand, happily following me wherever I went until her mother came to take her away. Then her eyes would fill with tears. The night I left Sapa, she stood outside the van crying uncontrollably, screaming "Goodbye! I love you!"

Maybe she's forgotten me by now, but I'll never forget her.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

She is beautiful...

I love Vietnam...I highly recomend you see more of the country...

Mandy...

Melissa said...

Mandy:Don't worry, I'm already planning my next trip back! :) If you have any suggestions, by all means! I'd love to hear about your adventures!

Anonymous said...

Vietnam...well I wouls start of with a little town called Nha trang. You can get by flying to saigin and then another flight to Nha Trang...best part of Nha Trang are the mud baths and if you stay in the golden hotel its so cheap and great restuarant on the corner nearby.
Then spend a little time in Saigon but leave to go to a place call Hoi An. You can get there by going to Da Nang first and then getting a taxi for no more then ten us dollars to get there. I would reccomend the Hoi An Hotel as its beautiful hotel that has a great pool. Just explore Hoi An as its a town full of Tailors and restuarants. Spend most of your time there and relax...there isnt really much to see there but the atmosphere of he place is so nice and relaxing...but go there when is cooler weather...Ergh..muggy weather...

I wish I could be more detailed...but look up something called the thorn tree...it has some great info there...

Mandy...

Inge said...

I just got back from a 3-week trip to Vietnam and fell in love too with the country, the food, the people, ... I hope your missing suitcase turns up, I'm sure your photos will once again be amazing!

Jean said...

I am happy to see this photograph. I went three times in VietNam. I slept several nights in Sapa and Lao Cai. I visited several villages in the mountain. The inhabitants are marvellous. Simples, true, nice.

Lindizzy said...

Hey Mel! I'm just now seeing your Vietnam pics for the first time. What an adventure! I miss traveling, and I wish I could have had the chance to do a bit more while I was out there... Amazing photos as usual. I especially like this one! Your photos remind me so much of my trip to China. Where will you go next? Well wherever it is, I can't wait to read about it. Miss ya lots!
Lindz

ODD said...

touching account, and makes me feel very glad of the things I take for granted. great picture too.