An American Story

Meet Bob and Kathy (I think) the owners of Bread of Life Western Café in Da Nang. This awesome couple from Missouri has owned the café since 2004 and been in Vietnam since 1998. The two came as part of an NGO team looking to help those who were the disadvantaged in Vietnam- that means anyone with a deformity, or disability who in many ways are the outcasts of the society. The two later decided to open the café to give one significant population the ability to get job training and show that the disabled can run a successful enterprise. The café has waitresses with various disabilities and all of the cooks, and other staff are deaf. The café specializes in western food- as the owners say, “just like you decide to go exotic and have Vietnamese food back home, exotic food for Vietnamese people is a cheeseburger!!” and so the café serves all the good ole home cooking- pot roast, burgers and oh yes- home made cheesecake– Hello!!!
Their youngest son was born in Vietnam, went to Vietnamese schools, speaks English, Vietnamese, French, and Chinese. The son (forgot his name) spent his last two years of high school in the states, but not at a ‘normal’ American high school, the parents, not wanting their son, who is reserved and formal like any Vietnamese student, to be bullied, sent him to an international high school in Washington State- a school with almost 90% Asian students learning English to qualify for college. Now the son is entering his last year of college in Missouri with plans to spend his career in business in Vietnam. With a double major of economics and finance, and the language skills he has, he is confident that the world is truly his oyster. As we spoke, it was clear to the parents that raising this American son, in Vietnam was a very challenging, but ultimately rewarding experience that the both they and the son embrace.


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