Sunday, October 9, 2011

back to tobacco, this time in Vietnam

post #56
       Before I got sidetracked two weeks ago by sorghum making, I had intended to finish up my tobacco series on this blog by showing photos I took during that 2004 trip to Vietnam.  I wrote about those two weeks, in post #25, and included several images.  But now I want to share the day our bus passed through a village in Vietnam which had tobacco drying in each front yard and under each porch overhang.  I made my only photo request of the trip (which was not designed for either photographers or for tobacco farmers) by asking if the bus could, please, please, stop there on our way back from the day's historic site.  Actually my request sounded more like begging.  I explained that I just couldn't face my community at home if I didn't take any photos of the totally amazing sight of seeing tobacco growing alongside rice!  
      We did stop later, I (and others) did get off the bus, and our guide was able to explain to the family why I wanted to take the photos.  Of course the explaining part was, to me, a gift.  I am always more comfortable being able to express appreciation  and to do the small talk thing.

        Facts: the time of year, October, the location, the middle of the country, where there are several growing seasons.  Of note: many Vietnamese homes and stores are open in the front, and there is a lot of visiting back and forth.  I still wonder how they take to the American way of closed-off living.
     The next photo shows what really got my attention -- rice, tobacco (more than one crop a year, I presume), and corn growing side by side!

     Two last photos, non-tobacco but Vietnam, are again with the help of being with someone who could translate my interest for me.  I usually send a photo to whomever I take one of, but on this trip it was hard to do that every time. I do apologize for the imperfections of these slides (which I have scanned and made digital) but I didn't always have much time to work or much choice about the light.  Otherwise, it was a wonderful trip.  I am so grateful to have been able to go there.
two sisters -- one of my favorite moments from the trip

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