Sunday, December 18, 2005
Dat, an honest driver and all around good guy!
My driver Dat was a God send on my visit to Nha Trang. I ran him ragged looking for my friend Ho but to no avail we didn't find him. We did find 2 other Vietnamese who had worked on our base at Dong Ba Thin but they didn't know Ho either but they were so appreciative that any American would come back looking for an old friend (ban cul). I have to say some of these ex South Vietnamese soldiers faced some harrowing times in the reeducation camps in the north. Glad to see that things are changing for the better and that the past is being forgotten and most Viets are looking to the future. I visited Dat's home and met his lovely wife and 2 children. They were so poor in material things but were very content and happy with their lot in life. I think there's a message in there somewhere. His little boy (1 1/2 year old) was alittle sick with an ear infection or pink eye...or both but all they had was tylenol to give him...very sad. Their modest home consisted of a hot plate, a tv, wardrobe, and a bed....the ever present electric meter was the first thing you saw as you entered the home. The local communist doctrine is also blasted into the neighborhood by speakers out in the street, each little neighborhood is sectioned off and numbered and moderated...like our local wards and precincts for voting.