Sunday, March 6, 2011

More Biology and a Reunion

If you look at the two pictures: Sorting the Catch and Squid's Revenge, you will see some larger flat fish. Last night we had some of them for dinner. One of the guards who eats with us regularly informed us that the name of that fish is "rudder fish". That certainly makes sense: it is thickest along the top and the long thin bottom is reinforced with a row of sturdy bones so if the top is the rudder post and the bottom is the rudder itself, one can see where it gets its name. [It is a very tasty fish.] We have had several kinds of fish over the past two weeks at either lunch or dinner which we are eating with the staff here at our hotel. One we had this week reminded me both in size and in taste of the perch we used to catch as kids in Saginaw Bay. Yummy and brought back fond memories from child hood.

Yesterday we had some other fond memories brought up by a visit by Quy and Tien, two men whom we had trained while working with the American Friends Service Committee in Quang Ngai City 40 years ago. After completing their training as prosthetists and orthotists (limb and brace makers) they went on to work in the Regional Rehabilitation Center in Qui Nhon under the new government. Two of them subsequently have been working, after retirement there, at a satellite center right here in Son Tinh district city. So yesterday, Quy and Tien came to see us here at the hotel. Both are now in their mid-60s. We sat on the porch of our hotel and caught up on each other's lives. Tien has had a mild stroke since we saw him last year but has recovered almost completely; although he acknowledges his father, who is in his mid-80s still gardens while Tien can no longer hoe. We were happy to learn that Quy's mother is still living in Nghia Hanh which is where I met her back in the '60s. Quy's son is still working in the national malaria prevention program and his daughter is now teaching in the university in Qui Nhon. All four of us are looking forward to the arrival of Roger Marshall, a retired prosthetist, who was one of the two who trained them. We expect him to arrive here in Quang Ngai around March 18-20. Quy has promised to let a number of the prosthetists we trained plus some of our former patients know we are here and we look forward to a wonderful reunion.


  1. Oh so Wonderful! Thank you and them for such collaborations & friendships - a good path to Peace.

  2. Now we see if Marge reads the comments. This is Beryl (brother) in Provo. Things here have been very "hectic" and I am glad she missed the "excitement". Among other things I've been without internet AND PHONE for days at a time, and then been very sick. Today I am well enough to... DO the Dishes... ugh. I have no phone but have DSL on the "dead" line. Eventually I will email her some details... but I figure she doesn't need to waste her time worrying about her "little" brother.

    Beryl Nelson

    (disregard that it says M.Nelson... we have "virtual" identity problems)

  3. It is very exciting to know that your are being remembered and visited by people with whom you did such important work. How rewarding and fulfilling this must be for you! I have a friend here in Mendocino, a Viet Nan vet who lost half a leg in Cambodia during the fighting. He went back and worked there for years, eventually setting up a still-ongoing business which converts used bicycles into wheelchairs, walkers and such for the local people who have lost their legs, feet.

    I cannot remember Cambodia and Laos without remembering the numbers of people missing limbs. So here are some hugs from someone who knows the urgent necessity of prosthetists in S.E. Asia.