The boys gathered bright and early to assemble our 'convoy' to Đào Khánh's Farm at Đồ Sơn to go fishing. It was a grey old day again, but thankfully, it wasn't raining. Thành discovered Tiên's curly snails we had forgotten to eat last night still alive and well in a bucket of water, so we packed them up and took them with us to cook up at Đào Khánh's.
Since it was Sunday, we decided to go via the Sunday market since neither Katie nor Hannah had ever seen anything like it. Many animals and birds and teeming with people...
Check out these gorgeous dove cotes.
Sáng, Katie, Thành, Ủy, Hannah, Xuân and Khánh
When we stopped for this photo, Khánh dropped his parking station ticket and when we went to collect our bikes we had an uncomfortable few minutes fearing that we'd have to wait till the market was finished and pay a fat fee to retrieve his bike... till he retraced his steps and found it on the ground... praise God!
Although they describe Đào Khánh's farm as being at Đồ Sơn, it is nowhere near the beach. He lives in a commune way out in the countryside. It was a very scenic ride, but it was lightly raining by the time we arrived. But the damp weather could not detract from the charm of the farm.
These are Đào Khánh's parents - beautiful hospitable people. There are several large ponds, so the rods came out and some of the boys began fishing...
Then Đào Khánh surprised us by landing this big fish from the pond in front of the kitchen which is choked with water plants...
Yep.. Hannah was very surprised when Ủy showed her the fish ...
This is the kitchen. You can see Ủy hoping to catch another biggie in the pond right there...
Right about now we were all glad that Tiên's curly snails weren't eaten last night ... Xuân and one of the ladies cooked them up. The pointy end on every snail is clipped off with pliers and then they're stir-fried in a delicious marinade of sweet and salty whatever, ending up in these fabulous sticky, tasty little morsels of yumness that you have to suck vigorously out of the shells... LOL. What a shame Tiên had classes today so he couldn't join us on this outing.
We enjoyed the lovely lunch that was prepared for us, then Đào Khánh took the girls and I for a walk through the neighbourhood and introduced us to some of his neighbours. Apparently we were the first Westerners to visit and they were very hospitable, inviting us in for a cup of tea.
This is Đào Khánh with his cousin and his uncle and aunt. They weren't expecting visitors, but they stopped what they were doing to invite us in for a cup of coffee. When I asked if I could take their photo, his uncle quickly changed out of his work clothes for the occasion.
Then it was time to go, so we lined up for photos. Đào Khánh's parents kindly invited me to come and stay when I return next year. That would be so good. There is a beautiful serenity about this home surrounded by ponds and vegies and chickens and ducks and the commune and rice paddies... miles from anywhere! I would love to come back and stay a while! Another reason to learn more Vietnamese before I return.
How petite is Đào Khánh's mum!!
Here we all are with our generous hosts.
Then it was time to go home... (Tuấn and Parazini)
A lovely surprise awaited us when we got home... Tinh was in town!! So we got to see him one more time this year. He is such a darling. It is always a treat to see him.