A Great Birthday Peasant

(Alex) The 14th of February 1997, 1:20 PM. I was born.

“Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday Dear Alex, Happy Birthday to you!” is what I hear to wake me up. I jump out of bed excited for the day ahead of me. Today, we are learning how to be Vietnamese peasants; as in fishing and farming traditionally. While wearing the traditional Vietnamese regalia: conical hats!

I run out of the hotel and into our van because I want to get going with the amazing day ahead of me. We first drive to the land where the villagers grow their plants. The garden is all organic, everything is reused and nothing gets wasted. We meet a nice lady named Ms. Xiem, who let us try watering her beautiful garden and even plant. The two watering cans feel heavy on my shoulders. Luckily, I water the plants without too much trouble so I look good for the video. Carrying the cans on my shoulders, I feel as though I am a real peasant, well, besides the cameras shooting pictures of me. Ms. Xiem then shows us how to plant lettuce on a new patch of dirt, we all try to mimic her and she starts laughing at us! I like the planting of the lettuce, I just don’t like all the dirt on my hands! Jumping on my bike, I yell “Cam On” (Thank You) over to her and start to peddle to our next destination. The bike ride is about four kilometers and very easy. Biking through the rice field, I am absorbed by the hard work and beauty. Then we get back to the main road. It is amazing how hard the real peasants work, getting up as early as 3 AM to work their fields all day to make a living.

Birthday girl casts a wide net

The next part of our peasant work would be fishing with nets. Now most people would say that fishing with nets is easy, well it is not. Our Vietnamese friend throws out our big traditional net while I pull it in. With fingers crossed, I pull the end of the net onto the boat. I get cheered for because I caught two fish. One of them is too small though and I have to throw it back in. We try a few other traditional techniques for the fishing process in the river. Being quite unsuccessful, we come back to the bigger boat for our delicious meal. Now I am not a peasant, I am eating like a king! A delicious meal of seafood and the fish we caught. Well actually, we didn’t catch all of the fish we were eating, we ate seven fish, one of which we caught, the other six we bought from real fishermen. Oh well.

I had a great time being a Vietnamese Peasant Girl, but I have to say; I do like my normal life too!

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6 Responses to “A Great Birthday Peasant”

  1. Happy birthday Alex! Everyone back home misses you guys a lot. I’m starting to think my favorite part of this blog may be the outfits you guys wear. The peasant hat is definitely the best one so far.

    Good luck on all your adventures!


  2. Loved your birthday-as-peasant comment. You are becoming quite the amazing story teller Miss Alex. I love how you weave your sense of humor seamlessly into your narrative. Great visuals. So glad you had an amazing day! xo Phyllis

  3. Hey Alex!
    I hope you had an awesome birthday on monday! You must have had so much fun! I miss you and can’t wait until you come home! which is in about 121 days! whoo hoo im so excited!

  4. Carter Wilcox 20. Feb, 2011 at 4:47 am

    Hi Alex! It sounds like you had a blast on your birthday! Farming, fishing… hard work, but fun. I also thought your title was very clever.


  5. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALEX!!! I hope you continue to have safe travels, and I will be doing a little traveling to Arizona only for a week. Stay safe!!! <3 ; )

  6. Kate Van Slyck 20. Feb, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    Hey Alex,

    I am Uncle Ax’s sister, Kate – my son, Grayson, was born 4 days b4 you – your adventure is totally amazing: blow-us-out-of-the-water amazing! I will show Grayson your b-day description when he comes in from playing flashlight tag w/neighbors and his cousins (Ashley’s kids) who are here on President’s Day weekend – here, being Washington, DC…..I am so thrilled you are all doing this – it is so great. Have a ball and please say hi to your parents from me – Kate Van Slyck