Tell me about yourself.
I’m happy, single, 33-years old. Grew up in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). I studied educational systems, but I’m a tour guide for my passion. My family was strongly involved in the war. My father worked for South Vietnam government/the Americans, and my mother’s family sided with the North. My father had the chance to go to America after the war, because of his help to the Americans, but he stayed for love of my mother. He spent many years in a re-education camp. My family and others that were on the losing side of the war still face discrimination. Young citizens in communist Vietnam are raised to be very proud. Now in modern Vietnam I have the chance to meet travelers. I feel very connected to Americans. And I like to support women – on my tours I try to bring tourists to help support women businesses.

Tell me about your county.
Vietnam has a very interesting history. There are 54 ethnic groups. We have a strategic location on the map with the sea. There is lots of tourism and we have famous food. Our people have a different character, we are very adaptable and survive. Being so adaptable helps the economy.

What are some stereotypes people in Vietnam have of the USA?
I think the USA has independence and freedom to do what you want.

The US didn’t colonize. They tried their best to keep their world in order. There was controversy, but give it time. During the war, most Vietnamese really did not understand why the USA was so against communism. We only understood after the war was over, and real communism began. Many people here criticize the US, but in their dream they want to go there.

Before the election, we were all praying for Hillary to win. Every Vietnamese saves their money in US dollars, then changes to Vietnamese dong later. It’s more stable and secure. So we care very much about the US President Trump says crazy things. Crazy things about women! It’s an American right to do that – nobody else {no other leader} in the world could do that and get away with it. No matter who is the president, Vietnam will make sure we have a strategic friendship with the USA.

What is it like to be a woman here?
There are more jobs for women in Vietnam than in the USA.

Women have to work very hard. It’s the 2nd job of the woman to be a mother and a babysitter to her husband. We believe that is our job. Men now have more awareness about sharing jobs, but it’s still for the woman mostly.

In Vietnam, for every 100 men there are 112 women. So women have more options and power, since there are more of us now. The big tour company I work for has only women working there. But men can go higher. Sometimes I feel down because if I were male I would have more options. But I want to just do my best. We believe in karma, so we don’t hold a grudge. For example, the Vietnam war we believe is karma for something prior. So no animosity for the Americans or French.

What is something a mother/aunt/grandmother figure taught you?
My mom told me to stand on my own legs and be independent.