The last evening, we had dinner in our guide Thuy's home and
- with her translation - spent the evening talking with her son Duc and uncle
Hieu, a wonderful, gentle, intellectual, 72-year-old retired university professor.
I gave Thuy a copy of a poem and drawing to
try to tell her how the trip - with Patti and I spending long evenings talking
to her about family and culture - had come to mean much more than we'd expected.
Even before translated explanations, the wise old man picked up on the
symbols (some Vietnamese believe that butterflies are souls of the departed)
and understood how that the souls of the departed had indeed been with us throughout
the trip. He and I seemed immediately to be kindred spirits.
In the photo are Thuy's son Duc, Thuy, her nephew, and her Uncle Hieu.