Don't you just HATE those blogs that suddenly stop without warning?!
I used to follow a couple when we were living in China that did that - they were from people travelling to places we hoped to visit and I enjoyed following them and getting tips. I can only assume the people returned home after their holidays. Frustrating.
Then I did the same thing. Whoops.
I had good intentions of doing a countdown of our last month in Quang Ngai - even started a draft entry. Here's something of what I wrote way back then ...
" One week today!
It's hard to believe we're actually going. I leave with very mixed feelings - sad to say goodbye to the many friends we've made, and the incredible community we've been made to feel part of. A feeling we could stay and do, see and learn more. But it's not always easy living here, we stand out as almost the only western foreigners in town and there's a certain pressure goes with that. We're beginning to speak only simple English and forgetting the street names in our hometown. We've missed so much of the family happenings and the grandchildren don't think of us as living in Perth any more. I'm really looking forward to catching up with everyone again.
It's been an incredible two years. We've been welcomed by the locals and included in the community - they've been so happy to have foreigners in their midst. As an "accompanying dependent" I've mainly been a housewife and feel a certain regret and guilt that I didn't do more - it's hard to get the balance right." ...
Classes finished and Owen wasn't involved with exams, so after writing reports for the faculty, university, organisation etc. etc. - and attending class end-of-year and graduation celebrations, we enjoyed a brief getaway in Hoi An, one of our favourite places. Build strength for the final pack. Then back to sorting stuff and packing up and loads of farewell coffees, dinners and parties - all involving accumulation of momentos, souvenirs and goodies to take home! We hosted a couple of parties - with the faculty and with neighbours in the lane.
Frenetic last minute sorting, packing, panicking about missing the flight meant the teary feeling didn't come till we were actually on the plane.
We've been back just over a year now and enjoyed unpacking the house, getting into gardening and other activities, catching up with family and friends - all the things that go with being "home".
However - you guessed it - we're off again! Back to Vietnam for another assignment; this time in Tuyen Quang a provincial capital in the north - between Ha Noi and the Chinese border. Similar town, similar university, similar position. So watch this space.
With just a few weeks to go we're back in Frenetic Phase - I think the teary phase will come after takeoff.
Meanwhile there's the all important To-Do List. Find a good BBQ steak restaurant, enjoy a roast lamb meal, almond croissant from Jean Claude, a few fruit mince pies ...