Vinh Ganh Rai, Vietnam - Kevin Nguyen

My Watermark is Vinh Ganh Rai, Vung Tau, Vietnam.

So when I was about six, I went to Vietnam where my parents were born. We went to a beach about two hours away from where we stayed in Ho Chi Minh City. This was my first beach experience.The water was brown, and there was garbage that floated above the water and some underneath it.

I remember walking along the beach and finding what looked like a plastic bag. In doing what all little kids do, I began to play with. I started slinging the bag around in circles. Round and round it went as the strings on the bag slowly wrapped itself around my arm. In a sudden moment of searing pain, I started screaming; everyone began screaming.

Then I blacked out. I didn't know what happened, but I have faint memories of waking up on a bed to see a swollen arm and a doctor presiding over it. It was many years later that I came to the conclusion that what I picked up was probably a jellyfish, mistaking it for another piece of garbage washed up along the shoreline. My relatives still regularly visit this beach.

Claire Lawson
Kevin Nguyen