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Asher 4/4/2010

AUSTRALIA | Tuesday, 20 April 2010 | Views [331]

Got up early and had cereal and yoghurt for breakfast. We walked to the travel agent where we got the boat for the day. We had to wait 1/2 an hour for a guide so the man who worked there took us instead. The man we ended up with was really nice and was full of information on everything. we went to  place where they made coconut candy which we tried and it was very nice. Then we looked at a lady who was making rice paper. Nimah bought some rice paper chips. Then we went to another shack where numerous sweets were made. I had a try at making the popped rice which I had to stir in a giant wok. We were given a plate to taste all the thing made there - my favourite was probably the peanut, ginger and honey sticks. Dad bought some black sesame seed squares. We were taken to An Binh Island where we rode around and had lunch. Before we ate, Ni'mah and I played pool with some local boys who were very good pool players.  Mum and Dad, with others, were listening to some traditional music. Back on the boat we went to a fruit nursery where we walked around and a sample of all the fruit was provided - it was very nice. My favourite fruit was the jackfruit - it tasted like bubblegum. On the boat we continued to the Brick factory which is a place where they make bricks and pottery. To the left of the entrance there was a mountain of rice husks which we ran up and down with our guide, Chuc, getting it all in our sandals. Chuc was a lot of fun. All the furnaces were interesting - we went into a couple - one was completely full and had already been through the process of firing and the other was nearly full and awaiting the firing. The colours of the bricks were different because of what stage they were at. Chuc took us into factory where two ancient looking machines were in action making bricks. We were there for around 10 minutes and I was super hot afterwards - I don't know how the women coped in their uniforms working there all day. We helped with the brick making and Chuc made some clay figures with us - a buffalo and a fish. The clay was from from the bottom of the Mekong and was pushed through a squishing play-doh like machine where it came out looking like bricks but had to be cut with wire to size. It was pretty interesting. We went to our homestay next which had a nice room with camping beds and mosquito nets. We then went for a ride, going over rickety old bridges that were falling to pieces and on a dirt track through the villages. There was heaps of banana trees along the paths. It felt very tropical. The name of the Island was An Binh Island. That night we helped cook dinner by folding the spring rolls and stirring the stirfry. We had a beautiful meal including a very, very, very, salty pork and gravy which was very salty! Dad tried some snamke rice wine with two other men - one from Britain and one from Germany (called Wolfgang). I can still remember their disgusted faces when they had their first sip! After this we shared sweet sesame sticks to get the tast out if their mouths. The lights went out at 10pm and we got to bed just in time - Nim was scared of the dark. We had one of the best days on the trip so far.

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