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Published: October 12th 2009
In October 2008 my former Rotary Exchange Student Trang Nguyen and her husband Huan Tran came to the United States to have their wedding blessed.
While they were here they also performed at the 2008 Rotary District Conference in Wichita Kansas. It was also an opportunity for Huan to see some of the places Trang enjoyed while she was here as an Exchange Student in 1999-00 and later as a college student in Barton County Community College in Great Bend Kansas.
Huan is an actor and Trang is an Airline Flight Attendant for Vietnam Airlines. Experiencing a Kansas Milo Harvest was one of the highlights Huan got to enjoy. Since 80 % of his countrymen work on farms with mostly hand labor, experiencing a mechanized harvest operation was something very new to him.
In 2000 when I had Trang on the combine during wheat harvest, I asked her if they had combines in Vietnam. She said: "If we had these machines, there would not be any jobs for anyone."
Well, jobs maybe getting scarce as mechanization has come to the Mekong Delta of Vietnam. On a trip there in the spring of 09 I saw my first rice combine in Vietnam. The video is not very good but you can see they have the machine on tracks, not wheels, so it can go through mud easier. As we go by you can see the header too. It looks to be about 8 or 10 feet. Overall, I would say the machine is about 1/5 the size of our machine in the first video.
Also in the video, you get to see the practice of Vietnamese farmers laying out their grain to dry on the highways. This is done all over Vietnam. Rice is harvested at high moisture and has to dry before it can be stored. You also see some rude motorbike drivers, driving right through the rice to pass the slow moving combine. I have rarely seen this as most Vietnamese or more considerate of the farmer’s grain.
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