Friday, December 21, 2012

So halfway through December...

So, it's halfway through December and I haven't posted much, but lots has kind of happened (at least this month feels like it will last forever...) so I should post and bring everyone up to speed.
On a sunny Saturday, December 1st, we took a drive with some friends to a "waterfall" up the kind of canyons in the mountains around Da Nang. When we got there, it was completely man-made, but the drive was really beautiful. We stopped to let Michael make googley-eyes at some rocks, and our Indonesian friend Alfa showed us these crazy plants that fold up when you touch them:
It really blew our minds - we'd never seen anything like it before. In the video you hear Michael having lots of fun - I hope you can see some of them! I thought the video with him was funnier than the second one I took that had no audio... but if you comment that you can't see anything let me know and maybe I will switch them out. Our friends were giving us weird looks, but it was lots of fun.

This was a neat suspended bridge at the waterfall place - we weren't sure if the sign by it read "Do Not Cross" or not, so we decided to try it anyway and just go one at a time. It was really neat.

Otherwise, some mundane/crazy things that have happened so far this month are:
- Several occasions with no water or no power - the water pump has broken twice in the past few weeks, and after some jerry-rigging by some repairman it is working, but for how long?... buah ha ha ha ha...  Sadly, no power also equals no water, because the water pump is below our house (kind of strange for this area). But we have survived!
- We found out the insulin here is much more unpredictable than we had hoped (it's comparable to what Michael used maybe 15 years ago or more), and to get the better stuff we will likely have to leave the country. But, cross your fingers because they may be able to order a small amount for us in Ho Chi Minh City that can tide us over until we can go to Thailand or the Philippines. When he had a major episode of hypoglycemia in the middle of the night we ended up going to a bar to help us stay awake until we were sure he stabilized - it is quite an experience to go to a bar at 2AM on a Sunday morning and be the only ones not drinking (or crazy drunk for that matter), we played a dice game for about an hour and a half and then went home. It sure is different dealing with the lack of good medical care in a small city, but our friends have been a huge help in trying to find us what we need.
- Some Vietnamese friends took us bowling, which was lots of fun. The alley was maybe half the size of what you would see back in the US, and the shoes were all a bit too small, but in the end it was pretty hilarious. Most of our friends had never bowled before, so they were totally throwing the ball down the lane, and surprisingly I (Risa) got the 2nd highest score after Michael - which shoes you how sad the scores were... It was also complicated due to all of the balls having small holes as the Vietnamese have smaller fingers than us, but we got creative and it worked out fine.

- After bowling our friends took us to a really neat little Paris-inspired cafe that served a variety of herbal teas, coffees, and some French treats. It was awesome to finally get red raspberry tea again - though I admit it didn't taste quite like what I was used to before. We also tried the elder flower tea, which was neat too - little white flowers in your cup as they don't strain their teas out here. They also have live music on Saturday nights, and Michael got up and sang "Wish You Were Here", and was quite the star.

- One day while I was looking for mold in our little bookcase I saw some bugs crawling around the edges of the books - after some internet research I found out they were Booklice (they also have lots of other names, but this one seemed the most appropriate), they like to eat the mold that grows on things, particularly books, but I found them in my blender cup as well. The best way to get rid of them apparently is to microwave the books - so I did. It was really weird, but hopefully the bugs are dead now. After the books cooled I wiped down their covers with a bit of tea tree oil and put them into plastic bags with a piece of tissue with tea tree - to prevent further mold and bugs from forming hopefully. It's always an adventure here!

PS - I'm not sure if I've mentioned before, but we've maxed out the free space for photos on Risa's account, so we will be posting less photos than before so that we can use what we can of Michael's account :) If you want more photos, we can always email them if you like!

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