On the weekend of 7 and 8 March, Bruce flew to Hanoi with Binh to attend a VSO (Volunteer Services Overseas) conference on disabilities in Vietnam. The VSO who has traditionally been involved in education in 3rd world countries is expanding its mandate to work at helping the disabled in developing nations be less marginalized. The conference was a briefing and feedback session on the proposed program plan for the expansion within Vietnam.
The pictures (from left to right, top row first) are 1. A profoundly disabled young woman who is one of Binh's home-based producers in Hanoi for the handicraft shop in Hoi An. If you look closely at her feet and hands you will note the horror of her disabilities. Her hands are truncated and her feet grow at right angles directly out of her knees. You may be able to count 8 toes on her left foot. 2. Binh being loaded unceremoniously aboard our modern Airbus 321 via a front loading catering truck through the galley door of the airplane. Binh, for whom this is du rigeur, wasn't fazed, but Bruce was horrified and close to tears at the indignity. 3. Binh's cousin Tue and Bruce posing at Hoa Diem Lake - a mandatory tourist stop. On the day after the conference, Tue an engineering director employed by the state in Research and Development conducted Bruce on a personalized tour of Hanoi's highlights aboard his motorbike.