This is Grandma. She is 86 years old and the matriarch of the household here at Vuon Trau ( Betel Garden) We see little of her, but every now and then she totters around the garden and gives us a restrained "hello". She, like all elders is much loved and revered.
With Tet impending, we are also seeing many shrines ladened with offerings to the spirits of ancestors. Candles, incense, flowers, decorations and food ( fruit,tea,garlic, rice cakes and chickens) are offered, so that the spirits will be fed on their return to earth to be with the family for Tet.
We have created our own little shrine in our room,with pictures of our ancestors which we brought from home, a small incense burner and flowers.
Bamboo is placed outside the door of the house to ward off evil spirits who may try to return to the house.
It is hard to separate superstition from faith. We are learning acceptance, and like the Vietnamese, we will follow all of the traditions " just in case"!!!!
The blessings continue for us, dreams fulfilled and new adventures blooming.