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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A wold of hurt...

I have a new Personal Trainer Torturer.  His name is Ken and I think he is in cahoots with Jenny as he has the same basic agenda....they both want me in a world of pain.  Well, after my first session back yesterday, Ken should be very pleased with himself.  I am gingerly moving around like a arthritic pensioner with osteoporosis.  Now, how can I get out of it tomorrow?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Apple Guavas

Muối ớt is a popular seasoning in Vietnam. 
Just swung by the market on the way home and was seduced by a new fruit that I have never seen before.  Actually, it was a little old lady on the outside of the market who was selling them.  She was sitting on a stool with a big basket full, a set a scales and a big toothless grin.  I could not resist.  She obviously spoke no English but we managed to communicate that they were 30,000VND per kilo.  2 set me back 15,000VND or 80 cents Australian. When I got home I asked Quyen what they were.  She tells me they are called "Oi" and was not sure what the English translation was.  After a bit of a surf on the World Wide Web I have discovered they are called "apple guavas".  Apparently they are very good for you with 4 times as much vitamin C as oranges.  The taste is, as you can imagine, a cross between an apple and a guava.  It was the scent that got me though.  They are are so fragrant.  It's almost like a perfume.  I have gotten into the bad habit here of adding chilli salt to a lot of my fruit (see picture above).  It really brings out the flavour and sweetness.  So Scarlett and I dug into them this afternoon (her minus the salt) and think we are on a winner.  As Scarlett says "Whats not to love about pink fruit?"

Quyen cut then into quarters and then cut the seeds out.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

2010 AFL Grand Final...Take One

Well that was freaky wasn't it?  We had a great morning AND afternoon celebrating the 2010 Grand Final.  Little did we know it was going to be take 1!!  It was a function put on by the Saigon Saints (a football club that does not play football but that could be a whole other blog).  They seem to have many members and put this function on every year.  The best part is that all proceeds go to Loreto.  

"The Loreto Vietnam-Australia Program (LVAP) is a non-profit organization headed in Vietnam by Trish Franklin. The Loreto Program supports and assists children who are disadvantaged, poor and disabled, through education training programs. There are many facets to this program: provision of education to the unprivileged, teaching of vocational skills to enable employment and shelters for orphaned children."

Not only is it a great cause but Trish is by far one of the coolest nuns you could ever meet.  She would even give my sweet Sister Marguerite a run for her money.  Loads of fun with raffles auction and some guest speaking football players.  Sorry, can't remember their names but they were premiership playing Lions.  A huge turn out and I even managed to meet the fabulous Bill Hunter, (click his name for his bio), Australian actor and all round legend. week?  Who knows.  If anyone can pull a function together in a week, this is the country to do it in.  Watch this space.

Not too shabby

Me and Me Mate, Bill.

Even over here Collingwood fans are nuts!

The 2 most passionate men in the room.  Everyone's a winner (or loser depending on your take on things)

Fellow blogger and Saigon mum, Natasha.  Check out her blog: Team Somerville in Saigon, There is also a link to the right of the page.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Too Cute!

I'm so proud of them!  Forgive Scarletts nose....she scratched in through the night the other night and it's quite a sight.  I still think she is beautiful!

Click Play for a snippet of the morning.
Wearing the beautiful ao dai Quyen bought her for her birthday.

My handsome prince

Hand made by the kids

The kid is never still!!!!!

Never one to shy away from the spotlight....she was in her element!

Blink and you miss her........

Waiting for his turn.

....and waiting......

The 20 watt smile.  Do you think she might be having some fun?

Enthralled by the dragon.

Finally his turn, after a high five from dad!

Can you pick which kids mum did not get the memo?

Phew...done and dusted.

Such colour.  They all looked amazing.

Scarletts class.

Eyeing off the mooncakes.

With his buddy Diya.

We were so proud of them all!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Favourite So Far

You know what.....I can't even figure out what they were TRYING to say.  Suggestions?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mid Autumn Festival

In Vietnam, Têt-Trung-Thu (tet-troong-thoo) or the Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the most popular family holidays. It is held on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month or shall we just say, this Wednesday!
Vietnamese families plan their activities around their children on this special day. In a Vietnamese folklore, parents were working so hard to prepare for the harvest that they left the children playing by themselves. To make up for lost time, parents would use the Mid-Autumn festival as an opportunity to show their love and appreciation for their children.
Appropriately, the Mid-Autumn Festival is also called the Children’s Festival. The kids have been busy making beautiful lanterns at school.  We have a concert on Wednesday morning and they are so excited.  The Ao Yai's are out and ironed.  They have been practicing all last week and can't wait to show us what they have done.  The shops are filled with astounding arrays of mooncakes. In Vietnam, mooncakes are known as bánh trung thu (literally "Mid-Autumn cake") and may contain a variety of fillings, such as savory roasted chicken, pork, shark fin, mung beans, coconut or durian.  The centre is traditionally an egg yolk symbolising the moon. They can be ridiculously expensive and I have seen a box of 4 for $100!!!
Like the Chinese, Vietnamese parents tell their children fairy tales and serve mooncakes and other special treats under the silvery moon. A favorite folklore is about a carp that wanted to become a dragon. The carp worked and worked and eventually transformed itself into a dragon. This is the story behind the mythical symbol, Cá hóa Rông. Parents use this story to encourage their children to work hard so that they can become whatever they want to be.
Will post some pics after the concert.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Roaring 20's Auscham Ball.

Had a blast last night at the annual Auscham Ball.  All proceeds this year are going to an amazing organisation called KOTO.  Standing for Know One, Teach One, KOTO  is a non-for profit restaurant and vocational training program that is changing the lives of street and disadvantaged youth in Vietnam.  The concept of KOTO began on the streets of Hanoi when an Australian Vietnamese man, Mr Jimmy Pham, asked a group of street kids what they wanted out of life.  They simply replied,  "we need skills so we can find stable jobs" and so the concept of KOTO was born.
KOTO has grown from a small sandwhich shop in Hanoi to a 120 seat restaurant and an internationally accredited hospitality program that gives some very special young people the start in life that everyone deserves. The program is soon to set up here in Saigon and it was great to be able to support it!  The night was a roaring success, pun intended!

Nicks home made spats.

I don't know if they have more fun, but they have a hell of a lot!

3 brunettes enjoying the change.

Holding on to the skin of my teeth!