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June 2017
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A Message From Marie

by Marie (Perry) Wright

Hi Mary, Candy and all…

I have gone to Laos every summer since 2005.. returned to Laos the first time in 2000 and loved it again… and then in 2003 went back to Luang Prabang , Laos and took a boat up the Pak Ou river to Nong Kiaw.. we then drove to Nam Bac where my older brother Steven was killed and my younger brother badly wounded in 1966 … beautiful peaceful valley today … it was very moving..

We drove on up through northern Laos (one BUMPY ride!!!) then crossed into China at Boten .. went on to Jinghong, Lijiang (gorgeous city… ) and Kunming. From there we flew to Hanoi, which we loved…and Halong Bay.. then down to Saigon.. found our old house, visited it, became friends with the people there! … of course went to the Cercle Sportif, and Brodard, the Caravelle,etc ….Then we had our passports stolen, and it was Tet.. so everything was closed, even the US embassy … so we drove up to Phan Thiet for a week on the beach … absolutely lovely.. couldn’t fly as we didn’t have passports and Nha Trang was far … Since then, I have returned to Laos since 2005, every summer … I teach, do different projects with schools, and just enjoy being there … It is a lovely city filled with beautiful and painful memories.

I live outside of DC now.. teaching French immersion at the Wash. Int’l school. I have two daughters and 4 grandchildren I love dearly.

Just went to Luang Prabang this time with my youngest daughter, it was her first time.. she fell in love (my oldest daughter has been twice with me already, and my grandsons too…). We are now in Bangkok, on our way to Paris to see my younger brother Alain who works at Unesco… then back to the US…

Great to see all of you here, don’t often come on!

Candy I know your parents passed away… mine did too.. what about you Mary?

We were very lucky to have those very special times in Saigon.. I think we will never forget it…

be well, hugs,

Marie

9 comments to A Message From Marie

  • candice busa

    Dear Marie, Please email me at my email address.. miamitonight [@] yahoo.com.I would love to hear more. It is wonderful that you go back all the time and take your children, and grandchilren. I sure hope to do that too. my email address is miamitonight [@] yahoo.com.

  • Cindy Nguyen

    Hi Marie,

    Because of your feelings for Laos, I thought you might be interested in a non-profit I volunteer for called Legacies of War (https://legaciesofwar.org) whose mission is to raise awareness about and advocate for the clearance of (75+ million) unexploded bombs in Laos.

    Our family (mother, brother, sister, nephew, husband, sons, and I) took an amazing trip in 2006 to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos (my mother’s mother was born in Luang Prabang) and fell in love with Laos. I have since gone back to Vietnam and Laos for the non-profit Doctor To Doctor and was an observer-delegate to the Cluster Munitions Coalition meeting (1000+ from 137 countries!) in Vientiane last November.

    I live and work (as a psychiatrist) in Palo Alto, CA and have two (20 and 22 yo, alas, no longer fluent in Vietnamese) sons who went to French school (I was forced to go to French school for almost a year in Saigon when ACS closed). Both of them spent time in Paris, and the older one just graduated in May from Yale in French. His younger brother has one more year at Yale.

    LOW has good awareness- and fundraising events in the DC and NYC that involve delicious Lao food. You might enjoy them.

    I am coming to DC in October for a LOW board meeting and would love to meet you if you are available.

    Warmly,
    Cindy Nguyen
    Grades 1-3
    American Community School
    Saigon

    • Cindy – Thank you so much for the information about Legacies of War. A most worthy cause. I’ll be adding a link to the Legacies of War website so that Saigon Kids (and others) can add their support, if they want too.

      Bob

  • Suzanne (Adams) Tilley

    Marie and Candy,
    Marie, don’t know if you remember me. I was in the same class as Candy. My parents moved to Laos after we were evacuated. I ended up at Brent. You and I saw each other a couple of times, if I am not mistaken.It was probably in Vientiane. Mother and Dad were in Pakse and then Luang Prabang. Candy and I email a little bit. I am a horrible correspondent but love reading messages like yours which finally has prompted me to write. I hope you will write me at stilley00 [@] aol.com.
    Suzanne (Suzie Adams)
    Saigon 1962-65

    • marie

      Of course I remember you Suzie!…in Luang Prabang…remember? I was with Don..you were “with” Scottie?? you must have been there for one summer, probably the summer of 69? I have some pictures somewhere….

      Will write you separately on your email, some time this weekend!
      Be well,
      Marie

  • Laurie Methven

    I just had to comment as I was so moved by the piece by Marie. My fondest memories growing up are in Laos and Saigon in spite of the evacutations and wars. I hope to visit both some day tho’ it could be awhile due to my financial situation.

    Not to many folks understand what it was like and it helps to read these ‘stories’. I only found this site a few weeks ago so it has been very exciting/interesting to me.

    Laurie Methven
    Laos 1959 – 1961
    Saigon (GaiDinh province) 1962-1966

    • marie

      Hi Laurie,

      Are you Stu Methven’s daughter by any chance?
      He was a good friend of my father’s…
      We were all marked by those years in Vietnam and Laos…have not met one “of us” yet who wasn’t. It’s wonderful to go back..not the same of course, but so many good things to see and do in Southeast Asia. And the Lao people are still as beautiful as they were when we lived there.
      Stay in touch…Marie

  • Sarah J Rogers

    Aloha Marie,
    I am Kandi’s older sister but so enjoyed reading your story and also from Cindy Nguyen’s comment as well. Cindy did you come to the first reunion in Phoenix?
    As you say, all of us have been touched by our Saigon experience. It is amazing to see how people have responded.
    There are a number of people in the DC area who have had the Saigon experience. I hope you all can find each other at some time.

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