My Asia trip came and went! I still can't believe it's over. I'm still suffering from vacation hangover.
[[To recap, this was a family vacation to visit my relatives in Da Nang, Vietnam for ten days. Afterwards, my two sisters, Michael, and I spent 4 days in Seoul, South Korea instead of dealing with the originally planned 12-hour layover.]]
For our first day in Da Nang, my grandfather (on my mom's side) hosted a ceremony (an offering to the ancestors), which really turns out to be a huge feast for those alive. With everyone all in one place, it was a good place to start reconnecting with family I hadn't seen since our first trip in 2009. If you didn't know, my mom is the oldest out of nine kids! Only 2 out of the 9 kids are in the U.S., so you can bet the family gathering was a big one!
Going into it, I was really nervous. With so many people, it was daunting trying to remember everyone's name. Not to mention, I also brought Michael with me. What would they think of me dating a white American instead of a Vietnamese American? Of course my mom approves, but how often did my relatives in Vietnam interact with foreigners? Then of course, I was so embarrassed about my language skills. Vietnamese is a difficult language for me to speak considering I grew up in the U.S., where I hardly ever interact with people in Vietnamese.
One thing I should have known, was how welcoming my big family was and all the worrying was for naught. They greeted us with open arms, and though it was difficult for Michael and I to fluently communicate, I realized genuine communication comes from within: whether it's the look in someone's eyes, a smile on the lips, or the position of one's body.
And did I mention the food was amazing? I mean check out that spread!
After the big feast, a few of us went to the beach. Soft sand, blue waters, and the sun. Just as I remembered it. One thing I didn't remember? How salty the water was! Good thing I only like to walk in water and not swim.
To end the night, we had a big celebration for my sister's 28th birthday!