11 Mar: Integration & Celebration

Today is our last day in Dong Ha. For breakfast we walked across the street to a small coffee shop, which had a wonderfully tasty onion omelet and real lattes. This was a nice change from the rather forgettable hotel breakfast.

This morning we were back at the Landmine Education Center. The program director, who is quite a good photographer, had collected and printed photo packs for each of us, with large and small individual and group shots. Then there was time for quiet reflection.

Then lunch and a trip to the market for two hoes, a large quantity of local pepper, and some wine for this evening’s festivities.

So the Women’s Union invited us for a farewell party. First we cooked with them in their kitchen. I learned how to make dumplings and spring rolls and crispy fried shrimp. Now, dumplings are a little like crimping piecrust: every cook has her own method, so we learned several.

The piece de resistance however was the banana flower salad, which is painstakingly composed, very beautiful – and then tossed!

Now it was time to change out of cooking togs and into party clothes. Those of us who ordered ao dai now received them: lovely and very comfortably fitting (we insisted on a loose fit rather than the skintight Vietnamese style). Our willingness to go to this trouble made a very favorable impression on our hosts.

After feasting there was speech making and gift giving and dancing. They danced the cha-cha with us; we taught them the Hokie-Pokie. A wonderful festive farewell; many new friends to share. Until we see you again!

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


2 responses to “11 Mar: Integration & Celebration

  1. Thank you Grace Church travellers for taking this blessed journey and sharing your thoughts, images and impressions with us.

  2. How good you have times of laughter in the midst of the tragic history and its results you are observing

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