Sunday, 2 October 2016

Our week

We've been trying take photos of our day-to-day life, not only to show everyone at home, but also so that in years to come we'll be able to remember all of the details. Below is the Sky Walk – we walk along here every day to get to the bus that takes us to school.

This is Giant, the shop where we buy most of our groceries. It's clean, organised and there are people who can help you in English.

One of the students in my class turned four this week. His parents asked if they could have a little party at school which we of course agreed to as this usually involves a cake and singing happy birthday. This was a bit more than that - the parents sent a HUGE helicopter cake, McDonalds for everyone and a goody bag for each child. It was a little bit overboard and in the future we definitely need to remind the parents that  having some restraint is ok. I was just relieved that I didn't have to teach them after the party - sorry for the Vietnamese teacher.

It's almost the Mid-Autumn festival which means one thing... moon cakes! I was given some from McDonalds (along with my McDonalds and goody bag), and unfortunately they were just like the food from McDonalds - average. Luckily these ones didn't have egg or funny meat in, but we couldn't have more than a small slice and the rest of the box was given to the ladies downstairs who were most delighted.

We decided to visit an old haunt of ours for breakfast - Master's Cup. The food was still awesome and the setting is great! The company wasn't too bad either.

Before we left for our trip to South Africa, Ross planted some seeds from a pepper we had eaten. I had no hope of them growing but I had to eat my words. When we arrived back in Vietnam, we were greeted by huge pepper plants complete with growing little peppers!

This school year, we have decided to make our apartment more homely. This South African flag, and the awesome pillow that Jo bought us from the Howick Falls certainly aids us in this regard.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Life Lately

A lot has happened over the last year and a bit, maybe we'll recap sometime but for now, here are some photos of what we've been up to since we got back to Vietnam after our two months in South Africa.

We came back and stocked our fridge with chutney, wine, chocolate (thanks granny) and Nando's sauce (thanks Lyndall). A healthy looking fridge indeed!

Ross made us a lamp with one of the umbrellas we brought back from Myanmar. That paired with our string of colourful lights from Vietnam make for a rather festive lounge.

We haven't hired a new cleaner yet, but it hasn't been a problem since Ross does such a good job!

We've seen some interesting things on motorbikes and Ross was fast enough to snap this picture on our way home from school. The sling over the driver's arm is just the cherry on top.

Three sets of friends have moved into apartments right by each other, so on Saturday night we had a travelling dinner party / house warming for each of them. We started at Tom and Stacey's place and had starters, then moved on to Chris and Mel's for mains, and ended off at Lauren's for dessert. It was a really fun evening.

Stacey, Lauren, Nicola, Mel, Steve, Ross, Chris, Lauren, Mel and Tom.

Every weekend, we go for breakfast at our favourite restaurant, Eden. We're usually joined by our bunch of wonderful South African friends (featured above).

Going to the movies is one of our favourite pastimes. There are always interesting popcorn combos you can get and this weekend we got an awesome dog juice bottle and a free tote bag – score!

We were very worried about our plants over the vacation as we knew it was rainy season but we weren't sure if they would survive. Luckily we came back and they were thriving.

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Life Lately - Jan and Feb

Lyndall and Craig brought us some delicious wine from South Africa. We really enjoyed this bottle, and appreciate them bringing it for us.

We send some very interesting things on our way to and from work. We were lucky enough to snap a pic of this crazy guy with his ladder, as well as some people dressed as emperors to promote a new Samsung product!

We had spirit week at our school recently, and every day there was a different theme to dress up as. One of the days was twin day! Ross and his colleague did a great job of dressing as twins.

I was luck enough to do my divers in The Phillipines during our December holiday. My official card arrived in the post!

This year we completed the Ho Chi Minh run again. Ross did the half marathon and I did the 10km. The best part of the race is knowing that there's a massage waiting for you at the end. This year, they increased the number of runners quite substantially which meant that it wasn't quite as enjoyable as last year (although, we knew what we were in for which certainly helped).

This guy wins at the transportation game!

Every time we go to the movies, they have different combo options that you can get depending on what movies are out. They usually include a cute bottle for your drink. We've built up quite a collection now.

My birthday fell on a Saturday this year which meant, no school!! My teaching assistant and nanny threw me a surprise birthday party with a cake and flowers. It was so sweet of them.

We maximised on it not being rainy season and had drinks on our balcony with friends to celebrate being another year older. It was such a gorgeous evening and I feel incredibly blessed to have such amazing people in my life.

Four South African girls and an Irish lass. Aine, Mel, Stacey, Nicola and I.

Yay for new plants!
My birthday celebrations were quite extended this year! We also went for Sunday brunch at Intercontinental Hotel which is decadent and amazing (and quite pricey - hence it only being an annual thing at most!). 

My first plate of dessert. 

Tet flowers 2016

Every year our local mall (Crescent Mall) put out a huge and beautiful display of flowers for Tet. The area around the lake is completely transformed into a beautiful garden, and it is truly a highlight in the year.

Mel and Mel catching up

Thursday, 28 January 2016


We went to the movies with our friends from school Aine and Cillin. Afterwards we went for drinks. Can you guess who ordered the smoothies and who ordered the beers?

Which drinks belong to the boys and which ones belong to the girls? 

Yup... the girls were chugging the beer while the gents sipped on their smoothies.

Vietnam celebrated National Day on the second of September. We can see District 1 from our apartment (in the distance) so instead of joining the masses in town, we watched the fireworks from our bedroom window.

Mel won a voucher to an Irish pub through Facebook, and we figured who better to share it with than our Irish friends? We had some delicious pub grub (pies!!!) and watched the Gaelic Football final - which was rather interesting since we've never watched the sport. 

Cillin, Aine and Ross
The Dubliner chicken pie. 

With our new outdoor space we knew that we had to get a braai, so one Sunday Ross went out and found us one. He had some bungee cords and strapped it on the back of the bike and made the tricky (but luckily not far) ride back to our apartment.

The braai master.
Our first feast
Roald Dahl's birthday was celebrated in September and our school participated by having a dress up day, a drawing competition and some students read extracts to their class mates.

Some grade 4 and 5 students reading in the library
Saigon hosted a rugby 10s tournament and we went along to support, as a lot of the guys who play in the contact team play touch rugby with Ross. When we arrived they had a deal of 500,000k (around R300) for all we could eat and drink - all day! Of course the day came with its typical Vietnamese quirks, including an orange pushing a wheelbarrow filled with half time drinks and a nurse to support him. Each team also had its own set of cheerleaders from the university where the tournament was held and, of course, there were midgets wearing top hats and tailcoats.

Mel getting involved during the YMCA.
After the rugby, we went through to District 1 to watch a show at the Opera House. We had wanted to watch the AO Show since we arrived, but never quite got around to it. Mel is on the social committee at school, so she organised a discount for any staff members who signed up. It was a really great show - a mix of acrobatics with Vietnamese culture - certainly well worth it if you are in Vietnam.