Mr. Minh and his family in Yen Minh, Ha Giang
- Mr. Minh (behind, left) is an officer at the Division of Culture and Information, People’s Committee of Yên Minh district, Hà Giang province.
- Minh’s family is living at a mountainous village at Bạch Đích commune, Yên Minh – near the border between Vietnam and China.
- Minh’s family kindly permitted our EOS group to perform experiments in their mud house (not shown here).
- The EOS group had much fun (Củ Cải – Daikon and Sâu Tre) when working and living with Minh’s family. The mud house will be a show case for successful thoron remediation.
- Vietnam’s Hà Giang province is located in the northernmost mountainous region. The time-consuming travel between Hà Giang and Hanoi prevents our group from performing frequent measurements in inhabited mud houses. In October 2017, Mr. Minh’s family and friends from a village in Hà Giang province helped the EOS group transporting local mud to Hanoi, and then used traditional mud-house construction techniques to build a small mud house in a Hanoi suburb. The full-size mud house is being used for assessment of various remediation strategies.
- Minh got married to an EOS member, Nguyệt, at the end of 2017
Text below from Arndt (from: https://isotopequeen.blogspot.com/2021_04_25_archive.html)
“About 6 years ago, my wife and I began collaborating with young Vietnamese faculty and students from Vietnam National University (VNU) in Hanoi, Vietnam, studying caves in rural northern Vietnam. At the onset of our fieldwork, our motley group including ‘foreigners’ (which was unheard of in that remote area!), raised great suspicion among the provincial government and police, prompting them to assign a young man to accompany us as an official “guide”, but actually to make sure that we were under control. The young man called Minh (like Ho Chi Minh, only shorter) had recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree and was employed at a low level by the regional government. He had grown up in an extremely remote village close to the Vietnamese/Chinese border. He was the only one of his large family who had ever attended university. Smart like a tack!
In the following weeks of hard work, our group bonded tightly and Minh began to behave and work with us like any of the VNU students. He caught on fire about science. The young man began to fancy Nguyet, one of our female VNU students, and the feeling became mutual. After our return to the USA, the couple became engaged. We attended their wedding during one of our follow-up fieldwork campaigns in Vietnam. As a graduate student, Nguyet decided on a VNU research project on radon in ‘mud houses’ of ethnic minorities in northern Vietnam. Her husband Minh had conveniently grown up in such a house and he successfully lobbied his regional government to let us work on radon isotopes in his ancestral village about one mile from the Chinese border, which was totally unheard of and prompted several uniformed and plainclothes police officers to be dispatched with us to the ‘politically risky’ location of our research. We all became friends within one day and afterwards were allowed to run freely like the countless chickens in the village. Pictures of our radon research are here: https://eosvnu.net/projects/mud-built-homes/.” Arndt Schimmelmann, Indiana Univ.