Sylvio Lamarche is a Canadian agriculturist. In 1994, he decided to take an occasional trip. His friend asked him to go to Vietnam and he agreed. At first he intended to visit Vietnam within a week, but the beauty of Vietnamese villages, rice fields and beaches seduced him. He left the country after three and a half months, but then made up his mind to return.
In January 1999, Sylvio Lamarche settled down in Vietnam when he fell in love with a Vietnamese girl. During his visits to the country, he used a boat to travel to beaches in the central coast cities of Danang and Nha Trang. Since 2001, he has settled down in Hon Heo in Ninh Phuoc Commune, 60 kilometers north of Khanh Hoa Province’s Nha Trang City. Here, he was attracted one more time by voc chà vá chân en (black-shanked langur, Pygathrix nigripes) and beautiful beaches.
Lamarche has joined hands with local forest rangers to protect forests and wildlife. Local people call him ông Tây kim lâm (Western forest ranger). Lamarche tells Thanh Nien newspaper that he has a funny nickname, “Fire Monkey.” He was born in 1956, the year of the monkey in the lunar calendar, and in Oriental astrology he belongs to fire, one of the five basic elements (metal, wood, water, fire and earth). Therefore, he chose the nickname “Fire Monkey” which expresses his hot temper and enthusiasm.
Octogenarian photographer offers free photos
Every morning, Dinh Ngoc Duong, 89, in Tan Binh District, HCMC, always goes to the district’s Culture-Sports Center to do morning exercise. After the morning exercise, he begins his daily routine by taking photo of everyone free of charge.
Duong’s favorite theme are old people and students doing physical exercise, or a man carrying his son on his back. Then, he prints these photos, writes the names on each photo and gives them to his “customers.” Duong always carries with him the bag of photos so that he can hand them out any time he finds his “clients.”
Many old people who have practised at this center for a long time even have their own albums of photos taken by Duong. Duong tells Tuoi Tre newspaper that he has been interested in taking photos since a young man. However, to earn a living he did not have enough time for his hobby. Now that he is old and has more free time, he devotes himself to the hobby. He takes photographs no matter what it is a rainy or sunny day.
A traffic heroine
Over the past 36 years, Nguyen Thi Gioi has mended tire punctures every evening. She has also helped policemen regulate traffic.
The Le Quang Dinh – Nguyen Van Dau Intersection in HCMC’s Binh Thanh District is a hot spot of congestions, especially when policemen are not on the spot. Gioi tells Thanh Nien newspaper that she does her job on the sidewalk. Every day, she witnesses serious traffic congestions, especially during rush hours. So, she has decided to help control traffic whenever no policeman is on duty.
Gioi has been hailed as a traffic heroine by the Voice of Vietnam. To her, she feels happy with her deeds.