My friends Mike and Alison met in Vietnam and fell in love.....with each other and this beautiful country. In 2007 they created a non-for-profit to help kids who suffered from the long lasting effects of Agent Orange sprayed all over the country during the Ameican/Vietnam War. I decided I needed to go. Curtis was in his last year of law school and would be taking The Bar in the upcoming summer and couldn't go. I needed to find someone who had their summers off, liked art, and wanted to travel to Asia. There weren't a lot of options in Ohio but I had to go. I met this person who went to high school with Curtis this weekend whom he told me was an art teacher. I called her out of the blue and asked her to go. Tracy immediately said yes, and after a few phone calls decided she coudn't because a friend was coming home from Iraq. So, I called up another random person I met one night who was an art teacher, Kacey Nobis. Both of these "random" girls had a few close degrees of separation in my life, and I didn't think this was a coincidence. Kacey Nobis now Watkins and I had agreed to go to Vietnam together to do charity artwork with kids and didn't know each other, except we find out our moms were friends in college??! We had a crash course on each other and decided it would work. I had resigned from my job at Pattison heading to NYC and mentioned to my principal that I knew this girl (Tracy) who may be interested in the job and I think she would be a great fit. Well, Tracy got the job, and Kacey and I went to Asia together and 5 years later these two "random" art teachers are my two best friends.
Vietnam was a wonderful experience and I too fell in love with this country. Kacey and I brought the work back to the USA and Mike, Alison, and I put on a charity event in NYC that was a huge hit. My mother even befriended the United Nations Representatives from Vietnam and was invited for a private tour of the UN. Here are a few pics, and a link to Mike and Alison's charity in case you are interested.