Gretchen Murphy

Gretchen Murphy (Survivor Corps in Vietnam): Gretchen has considerable experience of volunteering with human rights prior to her fellowship. Her jobs included working with Amnesty International’s International Justice and Accountability Program, and served at International Service for Peace (SIPAZ) in Chiapas, Mexico where she researched the impact of international organizations on indigenous nonviolence movements. Gretchen also interned at International Crisis Group in Washington DC. Where she focused on the role of new media in advocacy and the role of media in creating change. At the time of her fellowship, Gretchen was pursuing her Masters degree at American University’s School of International Service. After her fellowship, Gretchen wrote: “I witnessed some of the most genuine forgiveness I have ever seen. Although I did run across the occasional angry person (often rightfully so) ALL of the survivors I met were nothing but generous and welcoming to me. It was incredibly humbling.”

Time Flies

14 Jun

Last Saturday, after twenty two hours on the Reunification Express, I finally arrived in Dong Hoi.  I can’t believe it was over a week ago–the days since then have flown by, filled with getting to know everyone at LSN-V, getting to know the city and refining the goals of the work I will be doing here.  Everyone at LSN-V is extremely welcoming and I already feel like I’m a part of their team.

Dong Hoi feels like a small beach town compared to HCMC, though the motorbike is ubiquitous here as well.  Today I toured around the city with my new office mates, Kim Hoa and Giang and came to realize that riding on the back of a motorbike really is the best way to see the city!  I also got to try some traditional Vietnamese dishes: the first, a sweet bean soup served chilled in a coconut milk base is a common snack in Dong Hoi.   Later we stopped for another local specialty–rice pancakes, also served cold, topped with shrimp powder and spicy sauce.  Both were delicious and I am happy to find more vegetarian food since many of the traditional dishes are made with meat.

I am looking forward to another busy week at work.  On Tuesday I will be attending workshops for two of the new communes (villages) in Quang Binh province.  LSN-V is expanding into new communities and I look forward to getting out of the city and meeting with the people who are most affected by LSN-V’s work.

I have also been trying my hand at some video editing since video profiling is a part of my work here.  I shot the video below on the **VERY BUMPY** train from HCMC to Dong Hoi.  Despite its many flaws, I have decided to include it here since it offers a glimpse of Vietnam’s beautiful countryside.


Posted By Gretchen Murphy

Posted Jun 14th, 2009


  • Erin

    June 16, 2009


    Glad to see you are able to edit video! Looks beautiful there and I look forward to reading more.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Ted Samuel

    June 29, 2009


    The Vietnamese countryside is so beautiful! I hope we get to meet up in Hanoi! We’ll be in touch.

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