Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Dinner with the Women's Union

On Sunday evening we were invited to go to Mr. Do's house in Quang Ngai City, where some members of the Quang Ngai Province Women's Union had invited us for dinner. "We" included Marjorie, Tinh and me, plus Rick Burnson, Mike Boehm, Mike Mossman, Cristina Bain and Dick Grum, all of Madison (WI) Quakers, and Cristina's translator and friend, Diep. The women cooked up a storm for us--southern style spring rolls, banh xeo (a sort of savory rice flour pancake with small shrimp), salad, squid, rice crackers--and plenty of beer and whiskey for plenty of toasts.

Cooking up a storm in the kitchen

The feast is spread

As the evening went on everyone became more and more mellow, and pretty soon chairs were pushed back and singing began. The women began with folk songs, and asked us to sing some American songs. So it went on, trading songs back and forth.

Mike Mossman got out his guitar and accompanied some of the singers. Below you can see him playing, with Mr. Do, our gracious host and invaluable arranger, standing in the background.

It's in this kind of person-to-person contact that friendships are made and solidified, and it's where real peace and reconciliation have their beginnings. It was an evening of much jokes, laughter and happiness, and one we'll treasure for a very long time.

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