Last week, Team Saigon attended First Tuesday in Ho Chi Minh. There were only three other T-birds in attendance outside of our regular group of five, but it was still heartening to know that the Thunderbird community remains strong even in the furthest reaches of the world.
One of the T-birds in attendance, Jim Echle ’72, the head of the Thunderbird Vietnam Chapter, has been working with animal feed in Asia for the past twenty years. Brian Smith ‘90, who has been working in the export industry in Vietnam for the past 16 years, provided us with a contact who has worked with microorganisms similar to EM. Both Brian and Jim have remained supportive of the Thunderbird community through their generous donations towards scholarships and the school.
Yesterday, we met with Jim again, and he gave us some extremely useful information about his experience with pig feed and how it may apply to our research of EM. In one hour with Jim, we learned more about the animal husbandry industry in Vietnam than we did in our entire three weeks of researching it blindly online. Our Thunderbird contacts have been the single most valuable resource for our research, hands down.
As Thunderbirds, we should be thankful that we have such a supportive community throughout the world. We have been inspired by these Thunderbirds in Ho Chi Minh City, and we hope that we can also give back to our fellow T-birds some day…once we all have jobs.