Hello friends and family!
We've been in Vietnam for almost a week. Things are still going great! We're starting to feel homesick, but we knew that would happen. Thank goodness for skype! If you haven't already signed up, please do. When you do, look us up: smsmissy and/or billy943skype.
We're starting to get more familiarized with our new neighborhood. We've finally figured out how to walk to the market and other fun shops in An Phu (the name of our neighborhood). We've also been to District 1 (downtown area) several times and are starting to learn where we are going. It's still going to take plenty of time to be completely comfortable, but we're getting there. The most difficult barrier so far has been language. We've started writing things down and that seems to help. I know I've said this before, but the Vietnamese are amazing. I love their spirit and sense of kindness and good will. They are so happy to help and always have a smile on their face. We've run into a few that have asked where we are from. When we say America, they get so excited! Oh! Did I mention that I FINALLY found a hair dryer that works! Thank goodness!!!
We've visited our new school and so far the staff/administration have been wonderful and extremely helpful. We've also met some very nice people. We've met a few British, Australians, Scottish and Canadians. No Americans so far. Everyone really looks out for each other. For instance, we were invited to have lunch with a couple (Victoria and Neil) we will be teaching with. We ate and parted ways in the city. At about 9 pm, we got a phone call from Victoria making sure we made it home safely. The phone call made my day!!!
We bought a couch today to replace our hideous furniture. It is a custom made sectional. I won't give you an exact price, but we got a great deal and we're SO excited to have comfy furniture. I haven't talked a whole bunch about the food yet...it's great! There are many restaurants that cater to Westerners and the Asian fare is delish! One of my favorite things so far is the fresh fruit juices. They are freshly squeezed and are absolutely to die for. My favorite so far has been the watermelon and pineapple juice. I ordered one from the cafe next door and it took him 15 minutes because he was chopping and squeezing everything fresh. SO GOOD!!!!!And everything is SOOOO cheap! I got a 70 minute, full body massage for $6...I tipped $4, so I got that massage for $10! Crazy!
Nothing too exciting just yet. We're still trying to get our bearings. We'll post pics soon enough. Bill and I are planning a quick weekend getaway in about a month to one of the many beautiful Vietnamese beaches. I'll post pics of that. In the meantime, here's a video of sunset on the Saigon river. Once I'm comfortable taking pics in the city (dodging motorbikes!), I'll post some of those as well.
Love to all!
Missy and Bill