How a Veteran Vietnam War Protestor Found Peace with Pandaw
by Blake Johnson Jun 23, 2017
The story after finishing a Pandaw trip from a woman who once was the Vietnam War protestor is short but worth reading to know the mood of such people when they first come to the country they gave support to.
Lynn Bains, who considered her journey as a meaningful trip rather than a tourist holiday gave us a email after the cruise with Pandaw. Her lovely email contains almost her amazing experiences and the compliments on the intelligent structural design of the Pandaw ship that creates the chances for passengers to connect with the slow-moving river.
We are honor to share Lynn’s story which leaves a deep impression on us. Lynn herself once was a native resident of New York State, however, she expelled herself from New York as a way to be against the US’s aggression to Vietnam. In 1970s, she moved to Scotland and brought up her chidldren. She lived as an adopted Scot and did a job as a drama teacher who assisted actors to improve their American accents.
Travelling several countries and getting a lot of experience, but this was the first time she had “touch” to the “real” Vietnam and Cambodia, whose international peace and justice have appeared in her life and her vision.
It took a long time for her to decide to register for a Pandaw trip. The meeting with people who came back these countries as former soldiers and her thought to be a tourist in the places where the war happened terribly made her feel uncertain.
However, everything is on the right way when she took her steps on the land of Vietnam and Cambodia. There are so many things causing her mood to change such as the Reunification Palace in Saigon, the heartbreaking images describing the effect after the war and especially, the love of people in the globe sent to the North Vietnam. Moreover, the Vietnamese gave her impression of the optimists and progressive people.
To Lynn instead of doing “tourist thing” in Killing Fields – where the slaughter happened, she showed favor to see the daily lives of people in Cambodia. Thus, she spent her morning in Phnom Penh market as a way to connect with them.
By her care to Cambodia’s history, she succeeded in talking and sharing with the Pandaw’s guide who was through one of the darkest time in Cambodia – Khmer Rouge era and had the deeper understanding of the horrendous time she still paid attention to. She felt honor to know the story of the guide who passed almost challenges of life to become a guide, a positive person and a friendly companion being willing to help her understand the complicated politics and become a person who always feel proud to be a Cambodian.
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