As different as our lives are I see some of myself in this teenage boy in rural Vietnam. The way he carries himself, the way he competently shaves the sugar cane, his curriosity, a carefree confidence of himself.
During these same years I also worked on a kind of farm or Ranch in San Jacinto California. For me however I've come to realize our work growing vegetables was less about providing food and more about preparing us to be Sea Org members, the elite management of Scientology.
Shirt pulled over his head to block the sun he offers Chris and I a bite of his sweet snack. We hang out with him until he's called back (presumably by his mother) to the field where 4 to 5 women are tending to the grazing water buffalo. In my world this would be my superior (or senior as we called it) telling me to get back to work hauling rocks or harvesting string beans.
A contrast of lives, I reflect on my own. A world away, so different, so similar.
I pulled over to see some piglets following their mother. Because who doesn't like piglets.
Rural Vietnam. Parking my motorcycle I look to my right, a family is gathered in front of their house, eyes glued on me. Suddenly I forget about the piglets and approach the house with a smile and friendly "hello". Now the ducks and pigs are staring at me too. The baby starts crying. We can't communicate.
A man comes, speaks a little English. I explain I would like to take a picture of the family. There was some misunderstanding. Before I know it he's going through the village rounding up the other mothers with babies. Four in all. I imagine they've never had a foreigner ask to do a photo shoot.
They're a little shy but soon warm up to me a bit. This baby was was nothing but curious.
I wonder how they tell this story to their friends. Probably sounds different. 😉
Photo by @freemont7