Greetings my World Travelers! It was my intent to tell you a fascinating story told to me last week but first things first. Deposits are now due for the following: Australia see the Great Barrier Reef in March, Black Paris in April, Asia – see Bangkok, Tokyo, Vietnam in May, Peru/Machu Picchu in June; Negril Jamaica in July; going back to Fiji in August. If you missed something this year, you get another crack at it next year. If you are still dragging, you may get there but it will not be a Kattrax experience with Kat. It won’t be long before I close my chapter on this travel game. If you are serious about any of the above tours; don’t hesitate, inbox me
ONE PERSON’S JOURNEY
Last week I was sent to an auto shop in Oakland for some body work. As I walked in the yard a worker called out to his boss who cheerfully came out, greeted me and ushered me into his office. It was obvious this 30 something young man was Vietnamese. I spoke a greeting to him in Vietnamese, his youthful face lit up and he said, ” You know my language, my country”? I said, no only a few words but yes I have been to your country and I absolutely love it. After we got paperwork out of the way he began to answer my questions. You know I had plenty and he was eager to answer.
45 members of his family, friends in the village where his grandfather and parents lived had to flee by boat. They loaded up what they could and just left not knowing where in the world they would end up but they knew they would be killed if they did not leave South Vietnam. My new friend, the young Phat Tran, owner of this body shop was not even born yet.
He was told they sailed for days and days and finally landed on an uninhabited island. This is where he was born without any doctors around. This is where they lived for 8 years before being rescued by a Navy ship, taken to Thailand and taught how to live in a civilized manner for 3 months before getting sponsors to get them to the United States.
Life on the island wasn’t easy. They prayed daily to be rescued. They were blessed to find water by digging over 50 holes and also found a waterfall but had to walk 4 miles daily to get water. They fished for food, there were animals running around, and snakes they ate. Several members were eaten by sharks in their quest for food from the sea and several died from illnesses. Before water was found, urine was boiled to be consumed and fires were made the primitive way. Imagine 8 years of this.
Tran’s grandfather started this business, passed on to Tran!s father and now Tran runs the business at the tender age of 34. He says he use to travel to Vietnam to the beautuful beaches all the time until his father informed him: not so many vacations young man, I am getting old, you must now take over and run this business.
He seems to be doing a wonderful job at his young age. He said to me, ” When I think of all the hardships my family had to endure all those years; I cannot understand how some people here in America are not thankful for the opportunities and the life they have”. Amen Phat Tran.