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Kevin Dyer
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Darn Chores
This little Vietnamese boy's face says it all. Darn Chores! Living in the Mekong Delta, the people in this southernmost region of Vietnam seem to spend more of their life on or in the water than on dry land. This is no tropical paradise however, in fact, it's one of the poorest regions in Vietnam where the people are all but cut off from the rest of the country by the Nine Dragons, which is how the Vietnamese refer to the nine major rivers that the Mekong splits into before reaching the South China Sea. Obviously, the most readily available source of protein in this region is fish, which is where this boys daily chore comes in. What initially appears to be every little boy's dream of playing in the mud, upon closer inspection shows that, he is in fact collecting the daily catch along the banks of the river. Due to the delta's proximity to the sea, the river actually experiences the ebb and flow tides of the ocean. Generations of Delta living have taught the local families to use this natural phenomenon to their advantage. By lining nets along the banks of the river, which are under water during hide tide, fish are caught by getting stranded in the nets as the water recedes. The obvious disadvantages of this technique are that there is a certain amount of luck involved as well as the fact that someone has the rather messy task of going waist deep into the mud to collect the bounty. On a personal note, I promise to never again complain about having to empty the dishwasher or take out the trash!
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