Wednesday, March 19, 2014

In Vietnam, Agent Orange still makes its deadly presence felt

There’s an air of torment about Cong Nguyen. The 16-year-old is among four siblings, two of whom suffer the same regular attacks of heat that mean they can never stray far from a water tank. To make matters worse, he has never been able to grow teeth or a full crop of hair; instead, clusters of wispy, thin strands sit above sunken eyes.  “Some kids avoid me and laugh at me,” he says from the home he shares with his brothers and parents in Bien Hoa, just outside Ho Chi Minh City.

His mother thinks she knows the cause of his problems. As a teenager in the mid-1970s she would collect wood in a field with her father in southern Vietnam. The two would spend all day among the foliage, cutting down small trees, scavenging in thickets for branches that they would then carry back to their village in the evening.

Continue Learning:

No comments: