Monday, 17 October 2016

the chindwin and Lambert Vandenberg

I found an interesting piece on the internet about live and times in Burma and the trip with the Chindwin.

This is how it starts.

Lambert Vandenberg
 I found letters that Lambert wrote to his parents as a teenager while working in Burma.
1 The letters not only provide a great travel adventure but a window into Lambert's personality. They genuinely reflect the man Lambert would become. 
Lambert Vandenberg was a big man whose presence and hearty good nature filled the room. He was one of those rare people whose buoyant self-confidence didn't grate on the less enthusiastic mortals around him. 
One consistent quality was that he truly loved his job. 
Lambert worked for 38 years as a mechanic and foreman for the Standard Oil Company of California. 
Like many middle-class children of his time, Lambert did not graduate from high school.
He got ahead by other means. In his letters, he sang the praises of his correspondence courses even finding "square and cube roots interesting." 
The fact that Lambert's parents agreed to such a risky venture—going to Burma—shows how much they trusted their son to make his own way. 
Indeed, he was able at age 17 to pass himself off as a 20-year-old. (Lambert's passport says he was born in 1895, but his true birth date is 1898.) 
His mother Jane signed off that she has known her son for 20 years. (Apparently, lying about one's age at the time was not that uncommon.)
 Lambert's self-confidence and large physique for the time (almost 5' 11" and weighing over 200 lb) made the subterfuge doable. 
Lambert had a productive and comfortable "give and take" relationship with his parents. Lambert was sending money home each month, and his parents were apparently sending him magazines, letters, pictures, tools, and encouragement. 
Dutch immigrants of the working class expected their children to contribute to the family economically. 
Lambert's letters reflect this expectation.
 While Lambert spent money on diversions (e.g., a piano), he felt obliged to send money to his folks.

more on the Chindwin

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