I’m still amazed that I get to call this place home! Doesn’t quite seem real yet. The past few days have flown bye, I’ve been introduced to practically all of my co-workers, had my first training days on kayaking,rock climbing and already been on an overnight in the bay. I’ve even had a part in the redecorating of our hotel rooms, painting everything a nice cheery yellow. I think i might even be getting the hang of this whole thing!

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Butterfly Valley, my new home crag

On my first day off, (I know a day off already, a truly difficult job) we went to Butterfly Valley for a day of climbing. The crag is maybe 20 or 30 minutes from town, easiest way to get there is by motorbike, along some well used roads, through a small village, over a hill and the the road drops you down into this open valley. The cliff rises out of a meadow, begging you to come climb it, which we did. Of course. M and I got on a few climbs, snacked on some fresh picked lychee fruit and tried not to sweat off the rocks. A fairly difficult thing to do here, but I’m hoping I’ll get used to the weather quite soon! That night we feasted on fresh duck and beer. All in all a pretty amazing day off.

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My current office on the bay

In the past few days I’ve been able to practice my belaying skills for the excited climbers on our trips as well as my kayaking skills. The kayaking trip is pretty amazing, you get the chance to paddle around the bay in some of the more secluded areas, everything is so peaceful and relaxing. Although it did get a touch on the wavy side for our return trip, another amazing day in Cat Ba.

While working out in the bay we are fed an amazing lunch on the boat, some of the best tofu I’ve ever had, which has allowed me to brush up on my chopstick skills. I still haven’t quite gotten the hang of it, but I can at least feed myself, so improvement! If i eat each meal with them I should be a master before too long.

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The best food comes from the market

After spending a night on the boat I have yet another day off, although it is pouring down rain. A good excuse to try and get my room somewhat organized. My roommate and I found a fridge and a hot water kettle, so we should be all set! We’ve also become expert bug killers after a spider in the bathroom incident. And these aren’t just your average cute spiders, these things are gigantic! And aggressive, the will jump off a wall. We tried hosing it down with our shower head, then tried squishing it with a mop squeegee. One of those two things finally got it, so we flushed it down the drain. Success!

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Home by the sea

So far I am absolutely in love with this country, my time here is already flying by.

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