Change of Plans…

Going into today, the group thought we would be learning about the Vietnamese history, culture, and language in the morning and then going on a site visit to VinaCapital in the afternoon. To our surprise, though, as we all waited in the VinaCapital conference room, we were informed that the presenter was not actually there and that we could not go on the site visit. With such last-minute information, our group had to quickly figure out a way to alter the itinerary in a way where we could come back and visit the company another day (so don’t worry, that blog post is coming!). To do so, we decided on visiting the War Remnants Museum this afternoon instead of earlier next week.

Prior to actually going into the War Remnants Museum, I didn’t really know what to expect. Bryan always said that it would be hard on us to be there and to see the exhibits, but I didn’t really think much of it until I was actually standing there in the museum staring at a picture of a US soldier torturing a Vietnamese civilian to get information. This picture was one of many that showed the cruelties of the US soldiers during the Vietnam War and with each picture I looked at, the horrible feeling I had never went away. Continuing past that one exhibit, the museum also had a whole exhibit on the casualties caused by the chemical “Agent Orange”, which was sprayed by the Americans to find where the base camps were since the chemical kills all natural life. This exhibit opened my eyes to things that I had never even heard about, yet were major difficulties and still are for the Vietnamese today. What made things worse, though, was that while exiting the exhibit, children with deformities due to the Agent Orange chemical were playing music. Seeing the consequences in a picture hanging on a wall and seeing them first-hand are two completely different things and it was definitely hard to face the children. I felt as though just being an American, I inflicted these difficulties on them and I just could not look them in the eyes and feel that way.

Going to the War Remnants Museum was very eye-opening and I now have a much better perspective as to how certain Vietnamese people view the Americans and the war. Although it was hard to see everything, I’m glad that I went because nowhere else would I get to truly see the war from the Vietnamese perspective. IMG_1516IMG_1513IMG_1517

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