Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Chuc mung nam moi!

Lunar New Year's Eve dinner at my translator's house (you will notice she is rather a fixture in many of the photographs, trooper that she is) - let the feast(s) begin!!!
Dinner at my translator's friend's mother's house - our new biggest fan. I was afraid she was going to try to keep my arm as a souvenir. Sooo honored to have foreigners as guests in her house, she cried repeatedly the whole evening (between stuffing us with chicken). ( top, left to Right: Giang, our translator, Tomoko my Japanese housemate and ADRA intern, best friend's mother) Ahh, bành chung - the Vietnamese version of fruitcake.
Visiting staff houses: Tomoko visits with Hue, one of our field coordinators, and tries to eat yet more snack foods.
Visiting the teachers: New Year's tradition - whole classes of high school students make annual reunion visits to their high school teachers. Here I am with Giang's classmates and geography and math teachers (seated in front). The teachers said that the former students who are now employed should all pay them money for all the times that the students begged money from the teachers. Erica thought about this and decided that she, the employer, in fact is the one who owes the money to Giang's teachers for molding for her such a gifted and dedicated translator. The price? about 75 cents (each).
And a visit to the temple at New Years: It's a tradition to visit the Buddhist temple at the start of a new year. Here Hue and her friend light the incense, below, pictures of the different statues with the incense, money and food donations. Lots of incense was already burning, so the place was pretty smoky!

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