Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Teachers' Day Party at Đồ Sơn

Today, schools all over Việt Nam close for Teachers' Day... students of all ages pay their respects to their teachers - past and present -  with gifts and visits. It's a lovely tradition, and one we in the West would do well to emulate.  Over the past few days I have been blessed with several beautiful bouquets of flowers and today our usual class at Nam Phap Church was cancelled so we could all go for a party at Tuấn Anh's home at Đồ Sơn.  While the others met at the church and headed out from there, Khánh, Xuân, Parazini and I went to Hannah's to escort her to Đồ Sơn. She and Sam were going by car. We had to wait a while for the car to arrive...
... but Sam didn't mind at all!

A crowd had gathered by the time we got to Tuấn Anh's home.  The bikes were parked in a neighbour's yard and we were overflowing from the house.

This is Tuấn Anh.  His parents are teachers also, and they had already been visited by their students - now they were inundated by our mob!

Graham, our host, Adam, Mel, Katie and Hannah. (Graham and Mel are both teaching at VAIE - Mel has only just arrived in HP)

The kitchen was a hive of activity as many people pitched in to help prepare our feast...



... so much meat ! ... all sliced and marinating ...

(I just had to include the chicken coop behind Tùng and Tuấn Anh's Mother, who were busy bar-b-q-ing the pork.)

The food preparation took several hours, so some people socialised in the front room...

while others played cards...

Upstairs a crowd gathered in Tuấn Anh's bedroom for a sing-a-long...

This bed in a downstairs alcove was used for another game of cards...

and later Mel used it for a wee nap ... Tiên thought that looked like a good idea.

Sam is used to all the attention now, and handles these occasions really well.

Lunch was served in three rooms ... about 60 people enjoying Bún Chả!

A delicious meal, delightful company... and the fun of competing with the other rooms at calling a toast - Một hai ba ro! - trying to outdo each other.

After lunch was cleared away, dishes done, floors cleaned, the guitars came out again and we had a great time while everyone sang...

Then Ủy made some lovely speeches and presented the teachers - Mel, Graham and me - with beautiful bouquets of flowers.  Oh dear... it's getting too close to the day I have to leave.  Definitely not looking forward to that.

Điện, Adam, Chinh, Trung, Katie and Tiên

Linh, Tiên, Hannah,  Điện, and Adam

Mười, Graham and some gorgeous girls

and this pic includes Tuyền and Thảo

Xuân and Ủy still organising things.

There was quite a mob of us to organise!  But once we were all together, the fun and games started all over again ... with lots of photos!


Beautiful Katie, Thảo and Hannah

Tiên and Chinh   ...............................  Tuấn (Badmen David) and me


Fabulous group photo

Mel, the new teacher from Australia, is a keen Latin dancer so she was right into joining in with the dancers on the beach... someone brought portable speakers, so it was on!  Tuấn Anh leads a flashmob dance group, so he is not at all shy!  They were soon comparing steps...

A bunch of the guys were playing soccer ... they recruited Hannah for a goalie.

A bunch of us went for a swim (in our clothes...) and it was a really delightful afternoon.  They really know how to enjoy life!  Even the ride home was fun.

Mười and Graham

But the festivities didn't stop there!  After a quick shower and change we were out again for a VAIE staff dinner at Quan Ngon... seafood buffet. Ann informed me that they had finally secured permission for Hannah and Adam to stay at the house, so that was good news. We're legal again. That's Nicholas sitting next to Lotus!  I hadn't seen him this year, and now I'm about to leave!  Oh well, there's always next year!  

One more food photo...

What a fabulous day... made even more fabulous by my wonderful Nam Phap Church class family.  And it was doubly special because I got to share it with Katie, Hannah and Adam.

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