Day two in the village of Da Me, Vietnam
It’s 6:30 am here and I just woke up! That is huge because I’ve been waking at 2-3-4 am and having a hard time getting back to sleep. It could be due to the last two days events. A sudden invitation to a wedding. One minute we are sitting talking after breakfast with grandmother (98), the next second someone comes, she jumps up, hops on the back of the motor bike in her sweater and new turquoise knit hat and takes off. I look up from the table and see the back of her zip through the alley way. I guess we are going too!
I sat next to Kin and all the men dressed in suits. (Because Kin is the only one who I can communicate with). The women were on the other side in beautiful bright colored clothes. I Listened to a sermon for over an hour in Koho language while sitting under a sea of pink patched tents on the groom’s family front lawn while sitting on a tiny plastic stool. (That is a lesson in posture and core work) The bride and groom already had a wedding in her family church – this was just a celebration for the grooms family.
I watched people on motor bikes, children going to school, dogs, chickens, the world passed by behind the make-shift alter. I stood out as the only white women sitting in the sea of dark skinned men and closed my eyes to take it all. When the sermon was over, the plastic red stools we were sitting on were moved to the side and tables were assembled in their spot. A team of helpers who were friends or family members chipped in and helped; laying table clothes and supply each table with the utensils (tinny bowls, chop-sticks, napkins, wet naps, plastic steins, bowls, a hot plate, a sterno-like heating element, dipping sauces, bottled water) and a case of bottled soda was placed under the table.
The first course was cold and came with salads and some cold pork sausage and meets. I can’t remember the other five course but the stereo was lit and the cold or uncooked food was cooked with the help of the guest at the table. Chicken, pork, beef, seafood all came out on platters wrapped in plastic with herbs either in separate bags or laying on top of the meets. The stew was cooked to a boil right in front of you. I had a elderly gentle women sit to my right. She was being beaconed by her friends to sit with them (and all the other women) but she waved them off and stayed next to me and helped put food in my bowl. The Montagnard people are so gracious, kind and instantly warm. If they cared that I was a white women sitting with the men, they didn’t show it. Everyone greeted me with a handshake. Other women, Kin’s relatives, sat at our table and started passing around the bottles of soda.
The wedding reception lasted for hours. Over 300 people crammed every last space of the front yard. Guests were encourage to get up on stage to sing their favorite Vietnamese ballad. At one point I recognized a familiar tone. I heard a rendition of Josh Groningen …”I’ll raise you up on a Mountain”. Which made me chuckle.
I started the morning with a thought.
“Wherever you are, there you are.” We are always at home if we connect with our soul and speak to each other with that same peace and love, those emotions know no boundaries.
You are going to be O.K. – Eileen