The No Duong Left Behind Tour
When I sign on to ride my bike from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, I am downtown sitting behind my desk looking out the window at snow-laden trees in the park. It is January 2007. Hard to say exactly what motivates me. I can't hear the word 'Viet nam' without thinking about my classmate Tim, who came back from from Viet nam as a decorated Navy Seal, but never came back the same. I think about Joe Montana's cousin, Butch, one of the best guys you'll ever know, who suffers still from Delayed Stress Syndrome as a result of his two tours of duty there. And of course, I think about the 60,000 people on the wall, most of whom I never knew. Viet nam has been on my mind a lot in the last five years, because it was the heartache of my generation, a mistake of mammoth proportion for which we grieve still. And now our new heartache is that we find ourselves in much the same position as we were in the days of our budding adulthood; only this time, we know much, much better and yet, it has happened to us again. Read that 'Iraq'.
But I can't say for sure if this tragic irony is what leads me to email my credit card number to a New Zealand travel company on a snowy January day; I don't know why I sign up in a flash. But I do. And so on the day after Thanksgiving 2007 in Seattle, Washington, I climb on a plane to Ho Chi Minh City for the adventure of a lifetime. I have no idea what to expect; what lays ahead.
Just as well. Just as well...
The 'Kan EWA