These are the women who crouch on the sidewalk and sit in plastic chairs, the ones that waive at you to buy their fans, their bananas and pineapples.
These are the women who travel miles from their village, carrying what their business on their backs (be it fruits, vegetables, souvenirs for tourists) to come into Hoi An. The women who leave children at home and come home every night to feed and bathe their own, the women who wake when the sun rises and sleep when the rest of the house is quiet. The ones that count their bills and make numbers, the ones that want their children to get an education, the ones that fill the gap when their husbands don’t make enough.
These women are the roots, the trunk, the strength, the spirit of a family, of a home, of a society shaken and molded by their drive.
In Hanoi, I visited the Vietnamese Women’s Museum. An inscription on the wall read “A man builds his house, a woman, her family”.