Vietnam School Tours
Open their eyes. Change their life.
June 09, 2020
Every child loves to hear a story. When the story involves a soldier who lived underground for 12 years, students are captivated.
Some of our history tour students are fortunate enough to meet Mr Nam, a Viet Cong Soldier who fought for a decade in the Vietnam War. Only 16 at the time, Mr Nam left his house for a life literally under the ground.
Mr Nam recalls life in the dark maze of the Cu Chi Tunnels which he called home. The Cu Chi Tunnels was a network of extensive tunnels which included underground villages, kitchens, hospitals and bomb shelters.
When asked what they ate underground, he gives a hearty laugh as he replies “cassava, cassava, cassava.” During his 12 years, his meals consisted mainly of cassava, a nutty flavoured root vegetable for breakfast, lunch and dinner often for months at a time with just a little salt and sesame seeds to add some flavour.
As he continues to retell his story, the sorrow returns as he talks about the battle where he lost not only his arm and an eye but all but one of his brothers from his unit. Coming home, Mr Nam had lost most of his family and had to face his new reality.
Now 45 years later, Mr Nam continues to talk about the war, but for no other reason than to remind the younger generation how horrible war is. His motto now - "You should never meet up on a battlefield, meet up over a cup of tea instead".