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This was one of the most remarkable things about the Vietnamese people. There lives really didn't revolve around the clock. More like a day was another day, and the progress of simple life went onward. Keeping busy doing the routines of everyday life. At the end of the work day much was accomplished. It was sort of like watching art. Rest when tired and work when tea break was over. Natural, again simple and pure in nature.The rice paddies were attended by the men and women. They would work side by side doing the necessary maintenance. Heavy labor was not uncommon to the Viet Nam woman. Hands were rough from labor. It was a common practice for the camp to hire labor from the people.
They came in a truck in the morning from the front gate. They would fill sandbags, it was not uncommon to see women with picks and shovels working. Pay was minimal and would be shunned at by the average worker. It was a harmonic motion of work and friendship that they possessed.The diet consisted mainly of rice. With a few fish from the local stream and garden produce if any. It was not uncommon to see a Vietnamese going through a garbage pail. Sometimes things were taken out. Our garbage was a luxury to them. The Vietnamese utilized everything they acquired from the garbage.
There imaginations were of the highest order, always improvising. Oranges and apples from the mess hall were of high want. Deemed rotten they were food to others. It was strange, how Americans let food rot and just decay in the fruit bowl. Sort of like the war, we stayed there and just rotted. At times, it seemed like the enemy was among you. When workers entered the base, men of military age were present. There among the common people. You could sense the hardness and "THAT LOOK".Cold hard military steel in the eyes. Then they would work, right along with the common people. Still,that awareness was in me of the Viet Cong presence. Always looking around, pacing off distance from building to building, in a working shroud.
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