At 5.30am on Wednesday 10th February there were announcements on the loudspeaker for quite a while, followed by the usual loud music. Captain Caveman went to the beach with Ben while I got on with some editing for a bit and had one of the expensive apples for my first breakfast. Around 8am it was quiet again and I’d fallen asleep but had luckily set my alarm to meet Captain Caveman at the Farmstay for an exciting event. We had been invited by Bich and Ben to join in one of the most important preparations for Tet by helping make the Banh Tet from 10am. There were quite a few guests, family and staff all on the tarpaulin set down near the swimming pool and the process commenced. The key, I learned is to select the appropriate banana leaves as your base and layer them so there are no holes. Everyone was shown how to put plenty of sticky rice in a chunky line down the middle, making a small ditch for the mung bean and then the fatty pork. The whole thing is rolled tightly, making sure all the meat and beans are covered by the sticky rice and encased by the leaves. The tricky bit was securing the package with strips so there would be no leakage. Once finished they would be simmered over the fire for between 12 and 20 hours. It was very interesting to watch and I was impressed at how good the security guys were at making it – they were definitely the best I thought.
After the excitement of the cooking class gathering I had an orange juice and then we went back home for a breakfast of bacon, mushrooms, potatoes and onions.
I had a strongbow cider for lunch and it was quite sunny in the afternoon so we went for a walk to the French Road and back. This time I did it in 35 mins which was 6 minutes quicker than the last time so I was happy about that. Captain Caveman went to the Lake House to get bread and bumped in to the nice couple from the Farmstay who were drinking with Tony. I assumed he would be back late and ate my leftover shepherd’s pie for my dinner. I then ate a second dinner of spaghetti with salami when Captain Caveman made his dinner with plenty for me too. We watched more Breaking Bad and drank red wine then got an invite for lunch out tomorrow, which would be Tet eve. I fell asleep before I got chance to get an update on how a family member had got on with his hospital appointment today but knew I’d probably be awake early tomorrow to check.

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