Written by Clement
This past evening was our last night in Mai Chau before we would return to civilization, air conditioning, no bugs and the hardest part for me - no chocolate. After eating dinner, where we were offered grasshoppers - one of Carter's favorite dishes - we went to the culture show in celebration. It was specially held for us in the very newly painted culture house we sat on the floor along a tea table while mostly mothers, children and babies sat along the sides of the room, all of us looking at the small stage. Our host gave a quick speech, then the leader of the village, and finally Cheri and Carter gave them our donation. The candy that we bought quickly got spread around to all the kids and a mania of joyous noise broke out from all of them. The first half hour consisted of performances from women and a couple of men from the village. However, it was hard for a lot of us to focus on the wonderful performances with the hordes of bugs attacking us. The second half became more interactive. We were doing the "bamboo dance" and offered to drink a local specialty which most of us quite enjoyed in constrast to the grasshoppers. It ended around ten and we wandered home in the darkness of the Mai Chau village and settled down for the night.
This morning was...drowsy. Tired from the heat and hard work of the past days, people first started waking up an hour after we were supposed to, which was when breakfast should've started. Luckily, we had no major obligations for the day. An hour behind schedule, we ate breakfast, thanked the family, and gave them our gifts. Then we were on our way back to swag city Hanoi. On our way back we stopped at the Silk Village. This must have been heaven for the girls, I can only imagine. It was mainly one big street full of shops with beautiful silk clothes and accessories. When we returned to the hotel we were given 200,000 Dong (about $10) each for dinner. For the rest of this afternoon and evening we've been let loose in the streets of Hanoi. Oh boy, let the fun begin.
Note: Cheri is flying back to the US tomorrow and Carter will continue with help from Teresa. They'll blog as they get the opportunity.