Garbage in Danang

Danang with the Han River in the foreground and the East Sea, known to the rest of the world as the South China Sea, in the background. (Photo by MAA)

During a recent event that my company organized in Danang, I asked a US colleague where he was staying: in a hotel on the beach. Sadly but not surprisingly, the first thing he mentioned was the trash he saw on the beach and in the streets. Reading my mind, the next thing he referred to were the nasty implications for tourism. In other words, who wants to spend good money to travel to a place that is dirty.

Another colleague who was staying in the same area asked about swimming. I said it depends on the location. Fortunately, the surf was too rough for swimming, except for a few crazies, because of another approaching storm.

I am (obviously) not Vietnamese, but I felt embarrassment and shame for Vietnam, a place I have called home for 17 years. This is something I’ve written about and will continue to write and speak out about. It is one of Vietnam’s most daunting challenges of an existential nature.

Shalom (שלום), MAA

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