It was a long trip to the Mekong Delta. We drove out in the (thankfully) air conditioned bus through the busy Saigon roads early in the morning. There were motorcycles everywhere with their riders wearing all sorts of helmets … even baseball caps with straps…
This year the clinic’s annual vacation was to Ho Chinh Min City aka Saigon. When I booked the trip for all 12 of us earlier this year, my Team was a little skeptic …
“Vietnam? What are we going to see/shop in Vietnam?”, they wondered … but I wanted us to, bit by bit, explore our region together … after all we work hard … we should also play hard together!
We had 4.5 days to explore Saigon (as locals prefer to call it!) … None of us had been there so there will be loads so see … after all, we get such a huge diet of American war movies, it’ll be interesting to see the other side’s point of view.
One of the stops was the incredible War Remnants Museum. The grounds were filled with American Tanks, Howitzers, Airplanes. My sons had a gala time pretending to be soldiers.
On entering the museum, we had our first shock … there was a group of young Vietnamese there creatingÂ beaded craft work and playing instruments … and each one of them were deformed in some way as a result of the poisons that were used on their parents and land during the war!
There was one particular that stood out … he had no eyes but was playing the electric piano. In front of him was a young man who had deformed hands and feet sitting in a wheel chair with a big smile on his face.
We walked through the horrific displays on the floors above … photos, bombs, shrapnel, even preserved babies that were deformed due to Agent Orange, the terrible poison that was used in the chemical warfare on the Vietcong!
It was so, so, so sad to see how cruel mankind can be to fellow human beings.
It’s amazing how we always tend to view the Vietnam War through one set of eyes … the American’s perspective … this time we got to see/hear the other side’s view of things, the Vietcong’s side of how they suffered for 17 years … I was left with a terrible feeling of sadness.
What I got from this War Remnants Museum is, when it comes to war … no one wins … everybody loses ….. and always tragically.