Friday, June 12, 2009

Evidence and Musings on Shopping

Since I didn't get a picture last night of our waiter feeding An her clams, I was sure to take one tonight of the 5 waitresses she charmed.


We went back to KOTO which is a non-profit that takes street children and teaches them culinary, service and English skills so that they can get jobs to support themselves. They don't just teach them to cook Vietnamese street food...but Vietnamese and Western food that would rival any gourmet restaurant in the US. Brian had seafood dish tonight that he said was the best he's ever had (and it was about $8). Anyway, the waitresses were all vying for An's attention and were holding her smoothie when she wanted a drink, feeding her fish and french fries and then carried her around while feeding her a dish of ice cream. At the end of the meal, we ordered a dark chocolate mousse for dessert and they took off with An to introduce her to the rest of the staff.

Thankfully we'd been forewarned that the staff in restaurants would take your child and hold/play with them while you ate. Tonight she was gone for about 20 minutes and when the staff sensed that we were getting nervous, they came over and said she was downstairs with more of the staff. When we walked down, there were probably 7-8 talking to her and stroking her hair. Truly a wonderful place - both for the food and the people. If you are ever in Vietnam, KOTO is a must.

Speaking of good causes, check out the blog of the family that adopted An's foster sister - Her dad is the executive director of a wonderful organization that works to end child sex slavery and exploitation. Apparently Stephen Baldwin has selected Love 146 as his charity of choice on a reality show. I hardly watch TV at all so I can't tell you about the show, but if you call a toll free number or vote by email for Stephen, Love 146 receives money to carry out thier work. We're a fan of An's foster sister's family so if you can take a moment to read his post, please do so.

Now about the shopping. I'm just not cut out for it. I know that there are screaming good deals to be had here, but it just exhausts me to shop. This morning we went to the Dong Xuan market and probably didn't spend more than 10 minutes in there. There were so many people and everything was just in big piles and I just can't do it. So then we wandered the street of the Old Quarter, but that was exhausting too. Finally, because KOTO is next to the Craft Link store (a fair trade store that works with the ethnic minority groups) we stopped in there before dinner. I'm just overwhelmed with all the options. It is all beautiful and I can't decide what to buy. I have some more shopping to do tomorrow morning and I have to say I'm not looking forward to it...

Off to bed for a good nights sleep before our last day in Hanoi!


Duda Family said...

Great upates! Enjoy your remaining time in Vietnam. Can't wait to see more photos! Love, Mary Li