The capital is a constant buzz of activity. We enjoyed every minute, but the most extraordinary event came as a result of a minor internet miracle. A young man arranged a dinner with Deryle and several North Vietnamese soldiers. It turns out they had fought each other in a pitched battle more than forty years ago. The battle left nine American and one hundred forty-one Vietnamese soldiers dead. The video below shows their impossibly happy reunion. (If you go back to update #8 you can see a picture of the man shaking Deryle's hand holding up one of the shells found on the battlefield during a recent trip back. These men have been going back looking for remains and giving them proper burial. To date they have located and buried the remains of over 70 of their colleagues. They are also building a "Memory House" on the site. Another man, seen in the video holding a camera, was wounded in an earlier battle. He was transferred from makeshift field hospital to makeshift field hospital until his "wounds had scarred" at which point he walked back to Hanoi. The journey took him ten months.) Their joy, and Deryle's, in breaking bread after all these years is apparent. Listen closely and you will hear one of the men saying, "Thank you for not killing me!" to which D replies, "Likewise!" as they clasp hands and smile and laugh uncontrollably. Yes, indeed, a great, great night:
ps--One of the men spoke French and I was able to make myself useful as an interpreter.