Thursday, January 24, 2008

Floods,Food and Family

The rain has been relentless for the past three days. Everything is soggy, our clothes, our packs, our shoes, our towels, the floor, the carpet...but not our spirits!
We still mount our bicycles every morning and head down the road to the old town for work. We are quite a frightening sight to the Vietnamese, I'm sure. Under our jackets and ponchos, we carry our backpacks. Bruce carries the laptop and so he really looks like Quasimodo.
The pot holes in the road are now miniature lakes and thus by the time we reach our destination, not only are we soaked, but we are splashed with mud up to our knees. Until we discovered the ponchos, we also had telltale streaks of mud up the rear end of our trousers.
In the photo I am scurrying back to the bikes with a bundle of flowers from the market, meant for our hostess at dinner. The only place to stash the flowers for the ride home, was in the back pocket of my jacket. The blossoms stuck up over my shoulders as I wobbled and teetered on my bike.... but the flowers and I were unharmed.
Binh and Quyen, the couple who manage Reaching Out invited us to dinner in their home. Quyen waited for us in front of her house with an umbrella,paying the taxi driver...yet another courtesy observed by these very gracious people. Their son Sesame is four years old and he played quite quietly while we ate, but could not resist coming into the kitchen were we sat, to show me that he had painted happy faces on the bottoms of his feet with his new magic markers from Canada.
He is a very sweet and calm child, who had us pegged as grandparents right away. Through Binh, Sesame told us that his grandfather is the brightest star in the sky now, but Bruce was immediately adpoted as a grandfather on earth. Quyen showed up at the shop this morning with helmets for us, because she was worried about these tipsy elders on their bikes. I think that we have been adopted!
Our meal with them was the customary four dishes, mixed vegetables, chicken, soup, fish, and fruit for desert. White wine from Chile and passion fruit juice accompanied the meal. All yummy!
We are eating very well and only see western food at breakfast. Sometimes this is a little surprising. One morning we ordered omelettes, which arrived deep fried!!! I must admit that it is comforting to have yogurt and a bagette although a distraction from our intent to eat as the Vietnamese do...but pho ( soup with noodles ) is a bit of a stretch!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment