We drove a couple of hours from Hanoi out to the countryside where I was greeted by several people that I had met before at the wedding in October & at the death anniversary celebration in November. They warmly welcomed me, offering me bitter tea & making room for me on the sofa. No one spoke English, & of course I speak very little Vietnamese, so our conversation was full of silly gestures & facial expressions. We were all happy to see each other again.
Then the food started coming - plates & plates of it. People came & went all day long, eating mass amounts of food that was constantly being prepared. More chickens were killed, & a few ducks too. Mounds of vegetables were washed, cut & boiled.