My target of having two stories published on The Boston Globe in a semester was fulfilled just a few hours after I got back to Vietnam unexpectedly late last night. After I arrived at the Tan San Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City at 10:30 p.m., I got a bunch of emails among which was an email from the Boston Globe editor. He asked me to remove date stamps from the photos I sent to him with my final feature story one day before I left Boston.
I wanted to do it immediately though I didn’t know how to do it. But I have a more urgent task to do: visiting my ailing grandpa in the hospital. I asked the taxi driver to take me directly to Nguyen Trai Hospital. I was so afraid that if I visited him after I get home in my town of Chau Doc today, I might not have a chance to meet him again. Since last week, relative by relative of mine have come to see him for the last time after the doctor advised my family to prepare for his eternal departure.
My only hope is that he would be able to see my sister’s long-expected son who is expected to be born in less than three weeks and my Mom, who has been hospitalized in Chau Doc, has a chance to say goodbye to her father. This afternoon, I will take a bus to my home in Chau Doc with the hope that with my return, my Mom will recover well from her intestine surgery.
I have only two weeks in Vietnam from yesterday. These days are hard to me. The good news that my story has just been on the Boston Globe’s website helps ease my stressful time a bit. I am grateful to my Emerson College professor Jerry Lanson who helps me fulfill my target. Without his instruction and editing, I don’t think I was able to write such a good piece.
Back to the email of the Boston Globe editor, I must say thank you to him, who I featured once for my Spring 2012 assignment, for giving me a chance to learn how to erase a date stamp. As I confessed I didn’t know how to do that and I couldn’t ask my friend in Vietnam for help because then it was midnight. I must do it by myself. After visiting my Grandpa, I taxied to the bus station where I Googled and installed and tried several applications of removing date stamps from photos. All didn’t work for they left black traces at the end. I kept searching and found a better one: Photo Stamp Remover. After one hour of trying, I was able to remove date stamps on my photos as if there were no date stamps on them.
Around 5 a.m., I got home in Can Tho where I have lived since I studied in college, I checked the Boston Globe’s website and saw my story on the top of the South End section. It was published right after I sent the modified photos to the Boston Globe editor.
Here is the link to my story “Syrian Grocery in South End has changed with the times” published today on the Boston Globe’s website.
(First day of my two-week third trip home, Jan-4-2013)
My first story published on October 31, 2012 on The Boston Globe’s website: The ghouls come out in Salem