Today we were invited to Loan's family home in a village about 30k from Hoi An. One half hour before the appointed time, Loan showed up at our home stay, with Ha in tow. These two charming young women were the receptionists at our hotel last year. You have seen our initial meeting with Ha in her village at her brother's wood carving shop on a previous blog post.
We were surprised to see two additional motor bikes at the gate, so we were actually a motorcade of four bikes, winding our way through the streets of Hoi An and out onto the country lanes.
Loan's family live in a substantial house. overlooking the rice paddy pictured right. The ride, once we were over our terror as we wove through traffic; trucks, buses, motor bikes, bicycles, pedestrians with shoulder poles and little kids and dogs dangerously close to the roadside.
Once onto the more narrow country roads we relaxed and soaked in the exquisite scenery of blindingly green rice fields. We had travelled due west towards the mountains, which stood in the near distance, a deep blue grey in color.
Loan, Ha and their friends all 27 year old single women immediately began at 9:30 am to prepare lunch. Mounds of fresh greens from the garden. Elaine did her bit by Frenching the beans with Papa's straight razor! We heard, but chose not to witness the killing of the chicken outside the kitchen window. A delicious meal, with Loan's mother, father and older brother, our escort of four young women and ourselves, all clustered around a small table.
After a short siesta (Bruce and Elaine being entertained by a DVD of a Vietnamese slapstick routine while the others slept) we mounted up for the journey home. This homeward journey seemed less treacherous...we are getting the hang of being passengers behind a tiny feminine driver, but still really clutching the small bar behind our butts or the waist of our skilled driver.
It was a wonderful day. We are so fortunate to see the "real" Vietnam up close and friendly!