November 2017

Oh November. What a crazy month you have been. We’ve been a bit MIA and failed to update the actual blog itself (sorry – again), but if you’ve been following social media then you should have a rough idea of the emotional rollercoaster that November has been here in Vietnam.

I’m just going to dive straight in here: The first week of the November was rough. We had kind of been keeping half-an-eye on a pregnant cat that was hanging around our garden, and then one day she was no longer pregnant. We were unsure where she had given birth, but knew it must be nearby if she was still coming to us for food. And then she just disappeared. She stopped coming to get food and to this day we haven’t seen her. And then the crying started. A constant stream of little squeaks coming from somewhere in our roof.

Of course she had somehow magically got into the roof and given birth to her whole litter, before abandoning them all. After a few days of the kittens cries being left unanswered, we decided to intervene. A stressful few hours, which involved David climbing onto the roof to remove the tiles, saw us finally able to get the 5 tiny kittens out. But they were not in a good way, and were so young that their eyes were still fused shut. The vet agreed that they couldn’t have been more than 5 days old.

I wish we could say that this story had a happy ending, but unfortunately it was not so. We spent a few days trying our best, despite our inexperience and reliance on google, to keep the 5 fragile little kittens warm and somewhat fed but our attempts were futile. Within 48 hours of getting them out of the roof they had all passed. We tried our best, though ultimately we’ve had to accept that they really needed a mother for those important first days. Without her milk, they didn’t have the immune system to cope. It is absolutely heartbreaking to have an animal in-front of you that desperately needs help, trying your best yet being completely unable to save it. The whole experience was traumatic. Between this and Charles going missing a few month ago, we’ve vowed to not get involved in any more animal crises during our remaining time living in Vietnam.

A business trip to Da Nang

Things took a slight turn for the better when we were able to swing a little business trip to Da Nang. This involved us working Friday, Saturday and Sunday but then getting the fully Monday to enjoy ourselves before coming home. The best bit about the deal, aside from getting a little taster of what it would be live to live in Da Nang (which would be great FYI), is that the whole trip was expenses paid!

Working in Da Nang and spending a decent amount of time soaking up the city helped to reshape our previous view of the city. It’s not that we didn’t enjoy our first trip there last year, but we certainly didn’t come away from the trip raving about why everyone who visits Vietnam should visit Da Nang. I think it just boiled down to a bad time of year, and a number of logistical travel errors we made that our initial view of Da Nang was slightly tainted. But this trip has definitely changed all that! We had such a great time, spending our lunch breaks wandering along the beach and trying some delicious food!

Then, after the busy weekend of working was over, we were free to spend a day exploring some beautiful spots around Da Nang on our own motorbike. It was just such a good day. Definitely a highlight of November for us. We zoomed around the mountains, soaked up the beautiful blue skies, found stunning views across the whole bay and simply enjoyed being in each others company (which we haven’t been able to do with just the two of us like this for a while).

Motorbike crashes and broken bones

So with our thrilling whirlwind trip to Da Nang over and done, we landed back into Ho Chi Minh City and went back to work. But November just couldn’t leave things on a high and give things a break. I’ve already briefly gone into what happened next on Facebook, so I’ll just kind of reiterate here. David got into a motorbike accident.

A car came speeding out a sidestreet without looking or pausing. Unfortunately this is standard for car drivers in Vietnam who think they are above safety thanks to the metal box protecting them. Thankfully David was able to swerve out of the incoming cars path, but not without braking sharply and crushing the bike on himself.

The saving grace in all of this, is that he was able to phone me, and was super near to home. After a panicked run around the block, we found him. First off, our Vietnamese neighbours are so nice. While the car hadn’t stopped, some people had come and made sure he was okay, got him off the ground and got his bike back up. But his foot was a mess. Already multiple times the normal size and covered in blood in the few minutes it took for us to run round the corner.

After some more panicked floundering we finally got in a taxi to A&E (via our local hospital which of course was closed, oh Vietnam you confused us sometimes). We spent a few hours in Vietnamese A&E (not a place you want to find yourselves) and eventually got confirmation that Davids foot was broken and needed a cast to help it set.

Oh but the drama did not end there! We then had to find crutches which are typically Vietnamese-sized and definitely not made suitable for 6ft+ guys here. Then, we also had to go back to the hospital for a check up which is tricky enough with a broken foot and ill-fitting crutches but to make things more challenging hardly anyone understood English and of course out mobile data ran out so we had no google translate. But again, a few lovely individuals, patients themselves, took us under their wing and showed us to the correct department and translated the papers for us to understand what we had to do. Genuinely kind people are a blessing.

Anyways, two and a bit weeks has passed now. Davids become really good at the crutches and we’ve got our travelling and getting ready process synced up really efficiently so it’s not such a headache anymore. We’ll be going back to the hospital sometime this week to get it checked again and hopefully get the all clear from the doctors to remove the cast and, most importantly, be approved to fly home for Christmas!

Davids Birthday

Somewhere among all the craziness that’s been happening in November was Davids birthday. Unfortunately it landed shortly after his accident, and we ended up spending half the day at the hospital getting X-rays and checks done. But, I was able to put together a very last minute surprise lunch to lift his spirits and bring a bit of birthday fun to the occasion!

 

On the Blog this November

As you can maybe see, November has been a hectic one, so we didn’t get up-to much on the blog unfortunately. We were able to squeeze a post about our day exploring Da Nang, but that’s about it!

We’ve had a bit more success with social media. We’ve surpassed 325 Facebook friends! Not our friend yet?! Get on it! And we’ve been posting more regularly on Instagram so seeing some growth there too.

NEXT UP: December plans

December is going to be a super exciting month for us! In little more then two weeks, we’ll be headed home to Scotland for Christmas! While home we also have some birthdays, a family wedding and New Years! We’re actually taking separate flights home, as we’ll be returning on different dates which makes the travel planning a tad more stressful as I won’t be there to help David if his foot isn’t healed in time. But we are hopeful and beyond excited to see everyone at home this month! See you soon Scotland!

November was a bit hit and miss for us. What did you get upto in November? Do you have plans for the Christmas period yet?!


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1 Comment

  1. K (Wading Wade) says: Reply

    UGH sounds like a trying month Frances, but happy to hear you guys are both okay! Da Nang looks awesome and your post on it looks super useful if I end up there myself. Anyway, lovely catching up with what’s new chica, until next time! X

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