Sunday, October 26, 2008

Saturday with Di Phuong & Duong Ba

Saturday, October 25

This morning we met Karin and her mom, Rosemary, at breakfast. They are adopting from the same orphanage through the same agency. After breakfast we had a meeting with Trang, the main Children's Home Society staff person in Vietnam. We are planning to go to Ben Tre on Monday with Karin and Rosemary even though our G&R has not been scheduled yet. We figure we can at least visit the orphanage and spend some time with Alex. Trang said there is a slim chance that our G&R might get scheduled in time to take place Tuesday with Karen's and that we should pack as though it will take place so that we'll be prepared.

After the meeting we went out with Karen & Rosemary to find the shopping centers that Trang told us about. While we were out Hung got a phone call from Di Ba Phuong wondering where we were. We thought they had invited us over for dinner, but we must have misunderstood and they meant lunch. So we jumped in a taxi and headed out to their house. The taxi got lost and Duong Ba had to come on his motobike and guide the taxi the rest of the way.

Wow, what a feast they served us! Six courses all together! First we had crab soup with quail eggs - so good! Second course was egg rolls, really crispy and tasty like the ones at breakfast at the hotel. Di Ba explained that Hung's mom's eggrolls aren't as crispy because she makes them the old way. In Vietnam now they use taro instead of cabbage and they use a different wrapper. The third course was HUGE shrimp - Delicious! Di Ba peeled mine for me. Hung and I agree that this was the best course. Fourth course was squid - also very tasty. Fifth was Banh Xeo which she knew is one of our favorite dishes. Finally we finished our meal with fruit.

After lunch Di Ba outfitted us with helmets and face masks and we headed off on motorbikes. I wish I had a picture of us, but we were too busy hanging on. We stopped at Dam Sen Park, an amusement park/zoo/garden. We spent the afternoon walking around, chatting, and taking pictures. On the way back to the hotel we stopped for noodles with wontons. The food made me think of late night trips to the Village Wok with Thu An, Van, and Ly, but these wontons were bigger, fatter, and tastier (stuffed with shrimp) than at Village Wok.

Riding on a motorbike was less scary than crossing the street filled with swarms of motorbikes. It was a constant speeding and slowing as traffic merged at every intersection, but our speed never exceeded 20 mph. It was great to get a chance to see the city the way most Vietnamese see it - from the back of a motorbike.
Hung & I went to bed early and it felt good!

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