Saturday, November 2, 2013


Tonight Katie and I had the awesome privilege of attending the VIMARU Student Union annual camp-out. It is held at Đồ Sơn at the beginning of each student year for an opportunity to develop solidarity and friendships, and to elect the VIMARU Master of Ceremonies for the year.  Khang invited us to join in the fun, so we caught a taxi... we were running late because we had a lovely long skype conversation with Khánh in Germany!

When we arrived, Khang took us down to the esplanade to find a restaurant for dinner and we ended up having an absolute treat... Crab!!!  Woo-oo!  Crab on a balmy night next to the beach at Đồ Sơn... what a great start to a memorable night!!

The evening's performances were just beginning as we walked back to the huge courtyard where a large bonfire was set up on a bed of sand in the middle. The opening act was a talented singing duo. Khang's team were next with a dance item.

There were about 8 students vying for the position of MC and each one delivered a prepared speech. About half way through a lecturer sitting near me struck up a conversation and kindly explained what was going on. His name is Thành and Nguyễn Quyết Tiến is one of his students. When the winner was announced, we were surprised... both of us thought another girl had way more presence and personality than the one chosen. Maybe they didn't chose her because she is a first year student and will have more opportunities in future years...

While the judges were deliberating, there was another dance item... a talented young man named Việt, whose dancing was quite amazing. 

And after the announcement and presentations to the MC contestants came the moment everyone had been waiting for... the lighting of the bonfire!  A ball of fire came flying down a wire and it exploded into flame. 

A student dressed in a red loincloth with a flaming torch came cavorting into the middle and finished the job of ensuring the pile was well ablaze, and then the everyone rushed in to begin dancing and running around and around the bonfire...

After a little while, the crowd began to thin out a little and that's when Thành invited me to join the fun. We merged into the line of dancers and laughed our way around a couple of much energy and merriment!  I came back and it was Katie's turn to dance a couple of laps, led into the melee by the dancer, Việt.  They came back all hot and laughing, and he grabbed my hand and off we went, running!!!  I'm not sure what was more exhilarating - the fun of running round and round the fire with a crowd of laughing, energised students, or the thrill of realising that I can actually do this!!!  A year ago, there is no way I would have been able to keep up for even part of a lap, let alone run round and round half a dozen times! It was very hot, but I felt like I had boundless energy... LOVE ISAGENIX!!!   HAHA!!!!!

All this was accompanied by loud dance music, which was abruptly turned off at 10:30pm. Then the students divided into faculty groups for some food and drink. We were wondering where Khang had got to when Hùng Con came and told us to follow him... which we did... all the way up to the roof of the main building, only to realise we were on the wrong roof!! So it was a mad dash back down to the roof of the dining room building where Khang was drawing a crowd by asking a girl to accept his love by stepping into a heart-shaped circle of candles with lots of pink heart balloons.  I'm still not quite clear on what that was all about, other than he laughed and said it was a big joke. Hmmmm.

We were watching all the activity when Tarzan Hiệp, Lan and Sơn from NP Church rocked up!  They live in Đồ Sơn and had dropped by to check out the fun. It was lovely to see some familiar faces ...

Eventually Khang escorted us over to his faculty group and we sat and talked to some more new faces for a while... guitars came out and the singing began. Katie drew the attention of a very friendly, funny lecturer who had obviously been celebrating heavily all evening. The second time he came over with some of his colleagues they said hello for a bit then somewhat apologetically led him away.  All in good fun. 

Then the party moved down to the beach, where several large groups gathered to sit on the sand and sing and eat dried fish! At first we watched from the esplanade. Katie was talking to a delightful young man who is a great singer. He just started singing!  Beautiful...

From there we moved down to the sand and joined Khang's friends.  I was sorry I didn't know any of the Vietnamese songs they sang, but it was still thoroughly enjoyable... balmy night, clear air, surrounded by happy, singing people!

The beach parties broke up around 1am, so we asked Khang to call us a taxi to bring us home... tired but very happy after a totally memorable night.  Crab dinner, dancing around a bonfire, and a beach party all in one night!!  HUGE  haha....... 

No comments:

Post a Comment