My “ba ngoai” in 2010 now is over 90 years old, probably mid 90s. My mom is her youngest daughter. “Ba ngoai” has many children, which is typical for a peasant back in the old days, by the way my home land today is no longer peasant land, more homes are being built taking over the big rice fields, people work in the cities instead of farming. “Ba ngoai” family is not rich, in fact just like any other family back then, just have barely enough rice, meat and fish to eat, some time I stop by “ngoai”‘s house to give some shrimps and fishes that I’ve caught.
“Ba ngoai” house back then, dried mud floor that had been pounded many times to make it strong, when I first walk inside the house I would smell mud just like many other houses here. The roof are made up of big coconut leaves usually dried, it kept the house cool and also catch and filter the water for drinking, most of the time I drink rain water, but be careful not to drink the whole thing, pour it out, let it sit for a bit for the sand or dirt mud whatever sink to the bottom then drink 3/4 top fresh clean water. The structure of the house consist of coconut tree about 3 of them as support beam and then smaller beam to support the roof and wall. The wall is also made up from coconut leaves. Yes, it’s already sound famable and it is flamable if someone want to burn it, but it rarely happen here, people are busy making a living rather than causing trouble, even marriage are being arranged so very little trouble back then. It does have a living room, back kitchen and bedroom, no bath room, the bathroom back then was a small pond in the back couple min walking distance “dia ca tra”. In the front of the house I remember there was a small man made creek, small path way to the house. Coconut trees and other trees around the house.