Little Mekong Night Market

I hadn’t spent that much time with my mentees in a while, so when I found out that we were all free on Saturday (with the exception of Eh Hser L ), I jumped at the chance!  I suggested a few options: walk around the lake, tennis, movie, museum, and they perked up at the movie option.  I offered them several titles, but I ended up choosing Maleficent for all of us. I also invited my friend Zea, who wanted to get involved in the tutoring, but is unable to because of scheduling conflicts.   The movie was especially exciting because we watching it in 3D, and the girls hadn’t seen a 3D movie before.  We watched the movie, I think the girls said they liked it.  When I probed about what they liked best, they said it was the happy ending as well as the loving familial relationship that grew.

Then we went to the Mekong Night Market.  Little Mekong is a business and Southeast cultural district in Saint Paul, and the night market is more a small outdoors festival, intended for participants to experience some of the  aspects of the culture.  There were a few food carts, as well as several vendors selling clothing and other trinkets.  We ended up waiting in line for meat buns, but waited for a long time in the hot sun.  Unfortunately, the pork belly buns were sold out by the time we got to the front!  But we ordered several other things instead.

There was also live music at the night market, so we picked up our snacks and settled in to watch the performers.  The show was an eclectic mix of music, and the girls were really fascinated by the Brazilian Jazz group, Xibaba.    There was also an Asian woman dancing to the music with a red fan.  After the show, we got some ice cream, and wandered around, pausing to examine the some of the handmade goods such as “the sewing of hope,” which included brief descriptions of the people who crafted the wares.  Very inspiring!

Eventually we made our way to the photo booth!  At first, all the girls (including Zea) were really shy!  They didn’t want to take any pictures.  But I just started grabbing some of the colorful props and styled them up, one by one, then styled myself.  The girls ended up having a really fun time, and we took several more pictures with different props and poses.  It was a great way to end our night.