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Eileen McCarney Muldoon

Morning Walks, 2019, Photography on metal, Courtesy of the Artist.

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This photo was taken on my last trip to Vietnam. We were traveling in Northern Vietnam, where the Vietnamese culture is still very vibrant, especially in the Hmong community of which this lady belongs. Since there are relatively no tourists in this area and I don’t speak Vietnamese, this lady and I had to trust and respect each other. She was out for her morning walk bring her buffalo to feed in the green pasture and I was heading south along the dirt road with my husband and friend Yang when we passed each other. The fog, the buffalo and the lady dressed in traditional Hmong garb was calling out to me. We had to stop. When we did stop the car, I slowly walked towards her. At first, she was shy and most likely suspicious. I showed her my camera as a means of asking permission. She didn’t seem to object, so I walked along with her for quite some while until I felt sure that she was comfortable with me. Although she would never look at the camera, she didn’t seem to object or disapprove. In fact, she even smiled when we parted.