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A Fistful of Dong

By Aaron Smith, Contributing Reporter

VIETNAM - "Good morning Vietnam!" I called out from the balcony of our five-dollar room in Chau Doc, as the tropical sun rose out of the rice paddies. We had floated down the Mekong River by boat from Cambodia into the Mekong Delta, the food bowl of the region.

At this time of year it’s rainy season. We putted downstream past a silted river that in a few months would be green fields, bamboo houses on stilts and cud-chewing water buffalo stranded on grass.

We passed teenagers up to their necks fishing, and . . .

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