April 3, 2013

Santa Barbara Middle School - Vietnam - Day 5

By Sarina

Long bus rides are the perfect time to reflect, learn, and inspire. You have the chance to glimpse at the
natives live their life whether it is: working, cleaning, cooking, or looking after children. From our side of the glass window it seems so different form what we know but, for the most part, it is the same. We hopped off the bus in Trang Bang to enter the boiling heat and extreme humidity. We walked into a small resturant where we were greeted by Kim Phuc’s sister-in-law. She guided us to a table and turned on the TV. A documentary about “The Girl in the Photo” came on. We watched for a short while and decided it was time to give her her gift. Kelly presented the gift (a DVD of the Teen Press interview with Kim when she came to the Lobero, some goodies from our SB farmers market, and some of the money we raised from our bake sale.) while Annie did the talking. None of us understood what Annie was saying, but by both of their actions and reactions we could tell that the sister-in-law was very touched. She started to tear and gave Annie a big hug. We gathered around for a group picture and then made our way to the building next door. Kim’s sister was working in her out door café when we walked in. We got right to it and Annie and Kelly presented her with her gift. It was so inspiring to see the reactions both of Kim’s sisters had towards the gifts. It meant so much to them, and to know that just a little gift could make someones day felt amazing!
It was incredible to be in the very spot where Nick took that famous photograph, which helped lead to a turning point in the Vietnam war.

We saw the Cao Dai temple that was bombed, which Annie was running from when the picture was taken.  The area has become more developed over the years but there are still scars that remain from that horrible day.  After Trang Bang we had lunch then went on to the Cu Chi tunnels where the Vietcong hid and used as a major weapon in their guerrilla warfare against the US during the war.  We then had another 3 hour drive to the delta before hopping on a boat taxi to the rural homestay where we will be for the next three nights.

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