Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Living in the countryside

Living in the countryside could be a dream for many people who lead a stressful life in a big city. I'm definitely one of them, since my childhood I loved to experience a life in the farm, where they have a huge chicken's cage, so I can just walk in and pick up the eggs in the morning for my sunny side up,  a few dairy cows in a green hill, a valley with a crystal clear stream flowing through it, a beautiful morning with blue sky, fresh air and smell of wet grass with dew...

                A part of the farm still under construction, but the view to the lake is terrific...

My dream almost became true last week, I said "almost" because no cow, no green hill...but in return I had a lot of good things: fishing at the lake, picking mango left in the farm after the harvest, grilling a super fresh fish from our catch...
        8 months ago, here was a dense forest of cashew nut trees, dark and smell of overripe cashew nut fruits, rotten leaves...

One friend of mine who used to be my classmate in a grade school but only for a short year, we went different ways later in life, I never met him again until 30 years later, we strangely became business partners. At that time I worked for a cell phone brand, he was a boss of the biggest phone distributor in Vietnam. Together, we were doing a lot of sale and marketing projects to build up the market, suddenly he got a big legal trouble, and it put him almost 6-7 years behind the bars. Being released in 2009, he rebuilt his life from scratch. I really appreciate his tremendous efforts for a new life.

         The entrance, the blue house - a temporary shelter while the main building, next to the lake, under construction.

These days my friend is working hard on his dream farm for his family. I've spent there last week-end and I was totally shocked by seeing what he has done as I saw the place from the very beginning, 8 months ago. How he turns a dark like-jungle land with dense forest of cashew-nut trees into a beautiful farm? I'm not talking about the invested money but his passion, his true love to this lifestyle.

            My friend loves to keep chicken not to get meat or eggs, he prefers to have eggs incubated...

                and to see newly hatched chicks! 

            Cashew nut fruit, the nut from the outside that's why we call it "đào lộn hột", very few trees left in the farm.

           A place for the outdoor meal with a view to the lake. 

             My friend keeps buying big trees for the garden, in the photo - he and the team to rise a tamarin.         
              A star fruit tree in bloom with fruits... 

                 Road in the forest not far from my friend's farm, we go fishing...though this forest, 

                and here - our fishing place, clear water, hot sun, very quiet...

                seems no fish nearby we decided to go further on this boat but it was not easy to ride it...

            we caught nothing after few hours, but we got these from a local, we grilled right on the spot.

            few minutes later, we have a seafood barbecue, I enjoyed a fish but not frog.

                Red dragonflies, we say when these fly low, it will be's true. 

             on the way back, we passed by a huge mango plantation, we decided not to waste any fruit left after the harvest. 

By the way do you believe that I got burns (or exactly dermatitis) by the mango sap (like latex)? I was holding my camera in my right hand, with the left I tried to pick the fruit, without notice the flavourful mango fluid from the join between fruit and stalk jetted right to my face, near to my was sore for a whole week, now it've healed but a small scar still visible.

           Living near to the lake my friend always purchases good things from the local fishermen...
I would love to share a bit of my friend's story without asking him permission. The way he met his wife was really a destiny. During his years in prison she was one of very few, by some unexplainable magic, to connect with him, to stand by him and then to decide to look after him for the rest of her life. Their union, as we say, has been arranged by the God's will and we believe in destiny.

             ...and his wife skilfully turns it into a tasty chả cá lã vọng, homemade version!

                Mút - a nickname of my friend's son - a very dynamic kid but also stubborn as his dad! 

I was happy with my three days in the farm, to experience the countryside life, to breath the fresh air, to almost exhaust myself in the sun during the fishing (as I got a cold a night before!), to feel my friend's passion to his new life and to wish him, his family a new bright future.


  1. Hi, i really like your sharing and story, deep into life and experience.. Congrates to your friend.

    Anyway i got shock when i see the frog.. :)


    1. Thanks Teh, it was not easy - the recovery! Yeah, I didn't touch the frog, but I was told it was very delicious, even better than chicken's meat! I have problem with the visual...:)


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