The beach at the leper colony in Qui Nhon was a detachment secret. We would think up some weak excuse to photograph in the area and would load the jeep with building material for the Catholic nuns who ran the place. As a leper colony, it was pretty much left alone by both sides. With the blessing of the nuns, we had the beach to ourselves for the rest of the day.
Photographer, Ken Slosberg, and I felt like real humanitarians when we screwed up the courage to shake hands with one of the young lepers whose case was not far advanced. At first, the leper hung back to protect us, but I think the contact made him feel less isolated. At least I hope so.
It is a small world as one of my wife's relatives in
Venezuela, Alex Ferguson, would much later be engaged in capturing armadillos for leprosy research. It seems
they react to the disease very much as