After watching a documentary about Kim Phuc's reconciliation with the war, Kim's sister-in-law explained to us the aftermath of the bombing and how it has affected the family. Although Kim left the country many years ago, the Vietnamese government still closely watches them. The government also continues to be a burden to the family especially by making them move their house when the government decided to expand the road in front of their house. But even with so many difficulties that have inflicted them, Kim and her family seem to be happy and looking forward to the programs that Kim is starting up.
The street where Kim Phuc ran down after the Napalm bombing of her village.
The Cao Dai temple where Kim's family used to worship. This was also the temple that Kim and her family hid in during the bombing of her village. Cao Dai has about 3 million followers; the religion combines ideas from Buddhism, Daoism, Christianity, and Confucianism. These people gather at the temple four times a day for thirty minutes praying and singing songs worshiping the different faces of God.
The Cu Chi tunnels are an amazing network of tunnels and bunkers spreading over 70km that the Viet Cong used to fight first the French and then the US military. Before we toured the different bunkers and even climbed through one of the tunnels, we watched a documentary praising the Vietnamese soldiers for their efforts against the Americans. Many of us were stunned by how blunt the documentary portrayed the Americans as hellish. But even after that entertaining and eye-opening documentary, we still enjoyed firing guns, climbing a tank corpse, and especially crawling thought the dark and damp tunnels.
Rubber trees were planted extensively by the French. They are only harvested during the rainy seasons. The tree is tightly bounded in latex and then a slit is made. Through this small gap, a rubbery liquid substance is then collected in bowls. This liquid is then sent to factories to be processed and turned into the rubber we recognize.
During an interview with Kim Phuc's sister in law, she explained to us the hardships that their family has had to face, especially after Kim's defection to Canada. Phuc's family is endlessly pestered for money by the local government because of her choice to leave her home.
This clip captures a prayer session of the worshipers of the Cao Dai religion.
--Esther and Mark