Every once in awhile in exploration, you stumble onto something, almost as if the thing you stumble onto was looking for you rather than the other way around.
This was the case in 2006 when I travel to northern Vietnam near the Lao Cai region close to the Chinese border. I set out early in the morning to explore the region. A few hours later I found myself deep in the hills enclosed by dense fog so thick that I couldn't see more than 5ft in front me. Soon enough, I started to become very disoriented and began to lose my sense direction. I started to feel a sense of panic deep in the pit of my stomach. I stood still, closed my eyes and tried to calm myself. I let the fog engulf me into a white space of nothing. Lost in this white abyss, I started a funny routine, I would open my eyes to white then closed my eyes to black. I kept doing this while I listened to breath entering my lungs. Soon after I began to hear something heartbeat in the distance. At first I thought it was my own lost and echoing through the white abyss. Period soon later I realize that it was a jumpy Connie from the near distance.
The Black H’mong are an ethnic minority that are scattered in the highlands of North Vietnam, near the Chinese border. They live in a mountainous region that has been infamous for car accidents due to horrible road conditions and thick fog. In early 2006 several villagers were killed while traveling from one region to the next. Their bodies were taken back to their villages and a celebration of their life was held in their honor.