Vietnam · 118 Days · 96 Moments · September 2017

My Vietnamese Adventure...

13 January 2018

So for the past month or so it has been really cold and a bit glum and wet weather. Lets just say I never thought I’d be wearing beanies, puffer coats and gloves... after a nice but very quiet Christmas and New Year I have decided that 2018 will bring my next exciting adventure. I have booked flights to move over to Sri Lanka!! I will be moving in with my lovely friends Holly and David and will be in the sunshine and by the beach! Actually live the dream that I had in my head! I have really enjoyed my Vietnam chapter! I have made some brilliant friends and amazing memories. I can now say I am an experienced and actually good 😜 English teacher and have learnt so much from all these amazing children! It’s been amazing seeing children develop and making hundreds of kids laugh everyday! Here’s to my last week in Vietnam and bring on Sri Lanka!
Had a lovely coconut coffee! Very yummy! More of a desert than a coffee.

10 January 2018

Some of the ‘normal’ things you see you Vietnam....

8 January 2018

Playing Pictionary with my 1st graders on a Monday morning! 😁

31 December 2017

Happy New Year everyone! Have a good night with some lovely people! Running around Hai Phong having fun.

25 December 2017

Christmas in Vietnam! Brilliant secret Santa presents and a huge Mexican meal!!

21 December 2017

Beautiful little temple outside one of my schools

18 December 2017

16 December 2017

15 December 2017

Our lovely trip to monkey island. Lovely relaxing chill with freezing snuggles evenings and sunbathing on the beach during the day!

13 December 2017

Happy birthday to this wonderful crazy girl! So glad I’ve met her!

11 December 2017

I’ve had such a lovely week so far teaching the cutest little munchkins! In more than one class they have in in and jumped on me and kissing me all over my face! I love them! So happy I’ve made a good impression!

8 December 2017

A lovely way to finish my week with these cuties! One of the girls was in a little bridesmaid dress!

7 December 2017

Trying to teach my kindies how to do the Beth Jones face!

5 December 2017

Lovely Tuesday, lazy morning off in the sun then afternoon of dancing around with some of my favourite kindys, core strengthening yoga and then Flekkie snuggles.

29 November 2017

I love this cat so much!! She’s so adorable to snuggle with! ❤️

28 November 2017

Had a lovely class yesterday with the most gorgeous kids that decided to dress me up in their Christmas gear. I love teaching when you have days like this.

27 November 2017

The size of this moth is insane!!

26 November 2017

Went to the big market in Hai Phong today to buy some fairy lights and walked through and it was full of speaker geek stuff and mechanics dreams! It was crazy!

25 November 2017

Friday we had a nice night drank wine and chilled then a new teacher arrived. Then he pulled out this drum he made himself and Chris got his guitar out and they had a little jam which was good fun :) Then a lovely chilled Saturday around Hai Phong. As they are doing reconstruction on the building I had to move rooms yet again but it’s nice as I now have a full wall of windows so it’s lovely and bright and next to the kitchen 😜. Then after my lesson at lunchtime we went and got some pho then found this lovely little cafe and had earl grey and brownie :) Then we just wondered around.

24 November 2017

Just a couple of oddly named things I’ve come across over here. Tiffyrub which is basically vaporub. And Al Fakher shisha hahaha

20 November 2017

19 November 2017

After lunch we went to the tourist market which was a lot more up our street selling beautiful embroidered clothing and all their traditional clothes. We both ended up buying lovely jackets! Hers has these amazing pom-poms on and fringing and mines got beautiful embroidery all up the back. After that we headed back and got a mini bus down to the town to get our sleeper bus. Before the sleeper bus we stopped for dinner and we had basically every part of a pig put in front of us, intestines and all. But we also had this lovely rice pudding broth thing which was warm and lovely.
On Sunday we woke up in the clouds! The town was so misty you couldn’t even see what was just a few meters away. Fela and I went and had pizza for breakfast watching the local kids running around playing and carrying their baby siblings on their backs. Afterwards we wondered down to the local market that was so muddy I had to put bags on my shoes. And to be honest we were quite disappointed with what was there. All just crap really. Then we went to go and get a foot massage and relax but there were crying baby’s and they were playing ‘head, shoulders, knees and toes’ really loud which we hear all week anyway at school so we decided to just walk out and met the boys for lunch.
Whilst we’re walking around we stopped at a jewerlly stall/shop where the man was sat outside making the rings from scrap metal. It was really interesting to watch him work. Also we found that all the women that try to sell you stuff as you walk around but their jewellery from him so we were at the source which is great!

18 November 2017

In the evening we all went out for a hot pot and a lot of rice wine. Had a really gunny time! Learnt a new Vietnamese betting card game, Fela popping balloons on a street game and running/slipping away. Piggybacking and squatting with Angela (the smallest PO) on my back. Ended the evening with a brilliant sleepover and chats with the amazing Fela!
We woke up and all went for breakfast it was a lot cooler in the mountains which was nice. Then we rented motorbikes and all drove to the most beautiful little tribal village called Cat Cat where everyone was wearing traditional clothes and it looked like a little bamboo toy town in the creak next to a waterfall. We had an amazing lunch at a restaurant in Sappa town which was loads of different meats including horse which was actually the best meat I’ve eaten since being in Vietnam! Then in the afternoon we went off for an adventurous drive round the mountains along dirt tracks and through the rice paddies. Saw the real locals in their everyday life. We stopped for a beer before we went back to the hotel and this kid with amazing English and a hilarious attitude came over and was chatting to us.

17 November 2017

Today a few of us and a few of the Vietnamese staff jumped on a sleeper bus to Sappa for the weekend. It was an interesting bus journey as we had all just come from a teachers party being held at KA so had quite a bit of wine and then we also had a lot of rice wine and polished off a bottle of vodka on the bus. Safe to say we’re we’re quite outrageous (as per for Fela and I). We needed up having to stop the bus loads to wee then ended up with a whole bag of peanuts all over me and the floor. Once we got to Sappa Fela, SAM, Phil, Chris and I all slept in 1 room but as we were all delirious and making loads of noise and accidentally woke up the neighbors.
Have had a really good week! I went bowling with the boys and managed to get back into the swing of it and got a high score of 135 in one game! Joined the gym round the Corner (123 gym) they have yoga classes all day everyday and a nice gym, they also have other classes like Zumba, dance ect. They did a discount of 1.8 million dong for 3 months. Since joining I’ve been to the gym and also tried 2 yoga classes. They are very interesting and very focused of stretching. Also they turn off all the fans and AC’s so you end up sweating buckets. But feel amazing afterwards! Safe to say though I am aching quite a bit today! Lets hope not too much as we are off to Sappa this weekend! Tina te director of E-Connect is from Sappa and as we have Monday off for national teachers day she has organised a bus to take us overnight to Sappa. A hotel for a night and treks and lots of food. Really looking forward to it as Sappa is where the highest mountain is in Vietnam, Fansipan.

7 November 2017

Went on a visa run to Bangkok for 4 days. Was interesting. A lot of food, drinking, food poisoning and lots of shopping. Overall I’m not keen on Bangkok. Next time I’ll be choosing somewhere else.

6 November 2017

Last night Chris, Christine and I all went over to Linh’s (the woman that runs a private center we work at) for dinner with her husband before he goes back to the military. She cooked us an amazing hot pot which was a chicken broth and then you fried/cooked the meat in it as and when you wanted it like fondue. Between Chris, her husband and me we finished a full bottle of Home made rice wine! It was very strong to needless to say we were smashed. After Good they got the karaoke out and we all had a few songs and where playing with Vinh her little boy. I definitely have a heavy head today but ok as I’m making my way over to Bangkok for my visa run.
So Fela and I ended up buying a gorgeous little kitten! He names Flekkie (which means smudge in African). We went to our normal cat cafe and she gad a new gorgeous fluffy kitten and I immediately asked her where and how much? She then lead me over the road and pointed to what I thought was the food pot! I started saying ‘no, not that type of meo ‘ but she was actually pointing behind it where there was 1 more kitten in a cage with its mummy! She was soooooo beautiful that I couldn’t say no. I then ran back to Fela and called her over. Before she even held the Flekkie she handed over the money hahah. Finally we have a gorgeous little kitten! We are now a proper family.

4 November 2017

On the way home we found a lovely little cafe with a balcony looking into the lake which was perfect for a tra da, which is an ice tea.
We went to go and get a banh my, which is a tasted kebab like sandwich from Lạch Tray road which is where the memorial statue is and also the huge church. This city is growing on me more and more everyday. I love Vietnam.
Fela, Phil and I went and got a couple of swan peddleos on the lake in town which was good fun but quite tiring. It was a bit worrying cuz ours started flooding whenever we went backwards but luckily we got back to Shaw safe and sound haha. We then found the most adorable puppy’s that we cuddled but then when Fela started asking if they were for sale he snatched it out of my hands as if we were going to run away with it. (Which I wish we did)
I’ve just edited some pictures from my camera and got round to uploading them.

3 November 2017

Last day of Halloween classes with arts and craft making ghosts.

2 November 2017

Morning adventure after my morning lesson with Linh the teacher. We went to a cafe and just had a lesson there and she took me to a book shop so I could buy some teaching English books. I ended up finding out that I am actually teaching her son at one of my kindergartens! Then on the way home I decided to just drive around and went through a few markets. I then bought a coconut and a steamed bun and sat next to a lake and relaxed in the sun. Lovely morning. I love Vietnam living.

31 October 2017

My new ‘Black Mamba’! Speedy little thing.
More of my Halloween classes with the kindergartens. I was giggling so much!

28 October 2017

Halloween in Hai Phong with the crazy family! Full of a lot of gin, drink trail, drinking outside a brothel and hillarious memories.
Building up to Halloween with a few of my amazing students and beautiful teachers! 🎃

26 October 2017

I went to teach at one of my kindergartens and the kids are dressed in some of The funniest things! Then on the way back I drove past a little pet shop with some of the mot adorable little puppies and kittens! I wanted to take them all home and I think if I wasn’t on a bike I might have haha!

25 October 2017

Felicia and I decided to go for a bit of a walk around the neighbourhood and see what’s around. We ended up on a 4 hour walk down a lane which has a fish and veg market. Some g the most amazing vegetables and most of the fish still alive! Everyone was very excited for us to take photos of them and show their products! Then we found some good clothes shops, a vintage shop, seamstresses, bakery’s and loads more! We ended up walking to the other side of the lake. On the way back around the lake we found a corner of shops selling just aquariums and fish! They were incredible! Then we stopped and had some pho bo locally and headed back. It has been one of my favourite evenings as we just went exploring and Felicia gets just as excited about everything as I do so we were like 2 puppies running around saying ‘Look at this, look at this!!’
Went and had a look and an amazing flat today with a pool, gym, balconies and massive rooms! They even had mini golf! Crazy!
Yesterday we sadly lost a member of our little family Tania.. It was bloody amazing getting to know you and your crazy ways! Hope Canada treats you well and isn’t too cold. We will all miss you terribly.

23 October 2017

So after a bit of a rollercoaster with the original company I have signed a contract with a company that teaches public kindergartens. I love it! They are so sweet and the job is really fun. All the Vietnamese teachers I work with are so lovely and the kids are really well behaved. I also am working in a few private centres in the evenings and weekends. For the past 2 weeks I have also been tutoring a Vietnamese English teacher to improve her pronunciation which I love. She’s also put me in contact with a few more of her friends which is great as it’s very rewarding and adults learn so quickly. All in all I seem to have sorted my life out finally over here and love it! Really sinking my teeth into teaching now and enjoying it so much more than I thought I would.

22 October 2017

Sunday funday! Started with a lesson first thing for Linh who teaches the kids from round her area to help the community. I love working there she’s so sweet and the kids are interested and fun! (Most of the time haha) Then a few of us went off to a waterfall which was slightly underwhelming as it was more of a stream. But was still nice to see. Then went to a natural water pool and chilled there slept for a bit then a ride home, stop off at Pizza Hut 😜 then back for my 8-9pm lesson at Linhs again. It was a hard lesson as they just couldn’t concentrate, understandably as it was Sunday evening. But we managed to get through it and have a giggle so I can sleep happy tonight 😁

20 October 2017

Happy women’s day!

19 October 2017

Finally got my eyelashes done after wanting them done for ages! Finally I can afford them out here! I do find my eyelashes flying around in the wind on the bike which is funny! Credit to Rose the best there is in Hai Phong!

17 October 2017

Lovely crazy girls night with my lovely South African girls!

15 October 2017

Had a nice chilled weekend! On Saturday we cooked up a big meal of bbq chicken and a veggie pasta! I taught 3 private lessons this weekend and really enjoyed them! I feel like my confidence is getting higher for teaching and people are appreciating me for my personality and willing to learn! On Sunday we decided to go to Do Son beach which was lovely! It’s about a half and hour drive from us and it was just what was needed. Some sun, sand and sea! We took Harvey with us and it was her first time on the beach and she was going crazy. She loved it. At one point Felicia and I went into the sea and then looked back and there was a swarm of women and children around Matt and Phil having photos. It seemed like they are really there for ages! We also saw a wedding photo shoot and the bride had massive platform she’s on so she could walk on the beach. There was also a honeymoon cheesy photo shoot which was funny to watch. All in all yet another good weekend with brilliant people!

14 October 2017

Baby Harvey!!!

13 October 2017

Had a walk to a hotel to spend the day next to the pool. Nice to walk instead of in the bike so you can see more and talk to people on the way. The pool was amazing! I had it all to myself and just had time to read my book.

11 October 2017

Found the most amazing Butter-Dragonfly on the wall!!

10 October 2017

Went to Hanoi and had a very wet but brilliant few days away! I went to go an legalise my documents for my work visa but I went with Felicia and Phoebe and first night we stayed in a hostel called Flipside which was a nice place. It had a bar on the roof where we tried some ‘hand Granades’ which is a jäger bomb with a shot a tequila... let just say it was 1 way to start a night! stealing dogs and copious amount of tequila. We did loads of walking around in the rain and shopping at little market shops and ate like queens. When Felicia and I were on any of the buses we were shushed as apparently you’re supposed to be quiet...

8 October 2017

Had a lovely birthday today!! Loved the whole day! Got woken up with the most incredible cake! Way too yummy!! Haha it’s all gone! Went and had a lovely lunch! Then chilled by the pool caught some sun! We all went for sushi for dinner and went to town!! And ended the night with a saxophonist at a club playing happy birthday to me! It’s been lovely! Everyone made a huge effort and made me feel right at home!

7 October 2017

In the local supermarket there’s a beautiful version of a fong on the wall! Also Vietnamese really do eat everything and know how to make it appealing!! 😖
Had a brilliant South African brai (bbq) and it was amazing! Brilliant meat and lovely salads!! Beer pong and crazy dancing!!

5 October 2017

Some of the things you see being transported on a bike..... crazy!

3 October 2017

Yesterday was the day of Mid autumn Festival that everyone gets together and has a party. So in the afternoon we went to a school and did another performance. Then in the evening the staff organised a party with food and karaoke. Was a good fun night! :)

2 October 2017

On Monday we went to practice for an event at a school which was sooooo hot and sweaty! We then went and actually did an event on the mid autumn festival at a different school in the evening. Leaving was mayhem with bikes and kids everywhere!! In the evening we were very classy and bought a box of red wine and were dancing around to all sorts of classics!

1 October 2017

The drive on the way back from the pool we stopped at some rice paddies to watch the sunset! It was brilliant! Beautiful and then when we were said there we made a human tunnel as people went past on their bikes. We also had some kids come down and play with us.
Sunday funday! We drove out to find a waterfall but ends up stumbling across a fresh spring water swimming pool and it was brilliant! We ended up just chilling and drinking there all day! Started off with just us, then I think word spred and I think then then the whole village came down to swim with ‘the westerners’! Hahah

30 September 2017

Evening view from the roof!

28 September 2017

I spent the day yesterday observing other people's lessons which was extra useful and has made me feel a lot more confident about starting teaching! The students thing you're a VIP when walking round the school and are asking your name, wanting high fives or autographs hahah so funny. And for the school bell try have a drum instead of a bell! On our break we found them selling poodle puppies which were bloody adorable!! The last picture is of Tania's lovely uniform that she has to wear to teach...

27 September 2017

At the night school that I'll hopefully be working at aswell they were making beautiful lanterns for the moon festival that is going on. I went to observe Matt's lessons which was helpful! The classes are quite small which is good and quite manageable. But you have to be careful what you try to teach the younger ones as 'clock' definitely doesn't end up sounding quite right! Haha
The view from my bedroom window.... haha

26 September 2017

So I'm finally settled! I'm in Hai Phong with some brilliant people! I've unpacked and getting in work mode now! Wooo. Had a couple of drinks last night with everyone and the dragon dancers came and did a dance just for us and we were all joining in and putting the masks on! It was brilliant!

25 September 2017

Watermelon carving!

24 September 2017

Had my first training day today! Was a long day but interesting talk from Phil Keegan. Very insightful! Was brilliant also as a friend who had the gorgeous puppy gave us her to look after for the weekend so she was just wondering around us all day! Star of the show. At lunch we drove up a hill so we could look over the area! It's was gorgeous! Even saw a mini Eiffel Tower! Haha. After the day we went back and went and got another amazing bowl of Pho, I have a feeling I'm going to be living of it for the next year! Roz and I came up with a crazy idea of everyone having the music scanning tattoos and then as you walk in the club it will scan everyone's so everyone will be able to hear their favourite song!! Hahah would never work but you heard it here first! 😜😜

23 September 2017

Today we drove, well I was on the back of a friends bike, out into the next town to a golf club so we could go and chill in the pool and sunshine! Was beautiful! Then stopped on the way back and had Bahn my (I think that's how you spell it) which is different meats and friend egg on a plate with bread, it was delicious! Unfortunately we had to drive through town at rush hour and oh my god it was mad! I wish I'd taken a photo because it was mental! I bloody love Vietnam so far! I can see why people move here and never leave!
The next day we Chris and I went to this beach called Woodstock with a hostel that had 2 adorable puppies and the smallest kitten I've ever seen in my life!! It was a beautiful view!! Then in the evening came back to Hai Phong and went out with all the people from both branches. Adventurous and eventful night of lots of falling over, walking into glass doors and egg heads, broken (but not actually broken leg), a gorgeous little brown poodle puppy I could keep my hands off and to finish off the night we ate pho which is the national dish of a lovely broth with rice noodles with added garlic, lime and something leafy hahah. We also watched an electrical storm when we got back!

22 September 2017

We went on a night out in cat ba and it was hilarious, a few things happened but a funny thing to remember is... I went to go hit the top of a guys bottle with mine so it frothed over but in doing so ended up chipping his bottle and got glass in my eye... luckily it came straight out and I was fine but safe to say I will not be doing that again!! Hahahah.

21 September 2017

What a bloody adventure!! 'Good Lad" the bike went through every form of terrain that you could think of! Google maps took us a route to Cat Ba island that ended up with a sandy work site in between us and the road. As I walked over I got stuck in sinking sand and almost lost my new Birkenstock! You can see from the picture I was covered in clay/mud/sand! Met a Japanese pilot at the ferry port that couldn't tell us about where he flys to as it was top secret! Finally made it to Cat Ba Island and at the central backpackers hostel ($5 per night). It's the most beautiful island! Floating lime stone mountains and an incredible sunset!
Lunch break nap!

20 September 2017

Had my first night out last night and was definitely a hilarious experience. Brilliant cheap beer, ridiculous sized balloons (nothing like the English ones) and chucking knock off speakers in the lake. They ran out of battery so would constantly beep until they were charged!.. At one of the places if you need a wee you go behind this tin standing fan-like wall and there stands a very tall bucket... that's the loo! Do not look into it! Haha We were entertained by a man with his flute and chris beat boxing. Mad man from Ha Long Bay branch with empty threats of killing all e-connect teachers. All in all funny funny night. More to come let's hope.
After a very jet lagged sleepless night I open my curtain to pure sunshine. Maybe not the most beautiful view but beats the rain. The other teachers and I head to a local cafe where we have a ba su the typical ice coffee with condensed milk.... it's intense to say the least, it feel like you've taken speed, it's that strong. Beware! They taste amazing but maybe not the normal hot lemon and honey I'm used to in the morning... Then back at the centre there was a birthday party for everyone born in September with the most amazing light fluffy sponge cake with egg white icing... mmmmm

18 September 2017

Day 1 Said an incredibly emotional goodbye to Mummy and Phoebe at Heathrow airport and waved as I went through security, steaming my glasses up. Talked to Dad and a few other friend whilst waiting for the plane saying my final goodbyes, even though I would be messaging them the whole time I'm away. As I got on the plane I sat next to a lovely old Vietnamese ladies who showed me pictures of her grandchildren and children. Luckily no one sat in the seat in between us so we had a bit more space to stretch out. Watched an amazing film on the plain which was a true story about a boy from India who went missing and then was adopted by an Australian family and then went back on a quest to find his family... It was called 'lion'. It was very emotional film. I landed in Ho Chi Min City and hAd to Chang terminals for my flights to Hanoi. As I went through security check at the front of the queue was a man helping his child wee in a plastic bottle with his trousers round his ankles. Haha