Updated: Mar 25, 2020
I hope this blog finds you safe, well and healthy as the globe continues a journey into lock-down, country by country. Our love and thoughts are with friends and family, near and far, and with humanity at large.
As you may already know from our Facebook posts and website, we have repurposed from a retreat venue into a commune for the foreseeable future. As travel restrictions have become increasingly tight around the world, a number of Foreign Nationals are either unable to get home, or have chosen to stay in Vietnam to limit travel as far as possible.
Our mission has always, at its heart, been to provide a place of safety, serenity and peace, and in this sense we are grateful to be in a position to be able to offer a home-from-home during this time of uncertainty. We are following strict government guidelines for all who join us - every member of our new community is required to complete the 'Vietnam Travel Declaration' online, have their temperature taken on arrival, and declare their travel history since 1st March. All have also agreed to abide by government regulations, as and when they come into effect, and we hope to maintain a healthy environment for this newly forming family, and the local community.
So far, we have been joined by Dunia (Swedish), Ratna and Hugh (English and American), Beatriz (Spanish), and Danish couple (Sandra and Mads) who are travelling with their delightful little girl, Augusta - each of these beautiful souls have a story to tell, and will be contributing to this blog over the coming weeks to share theirs... this is by invitation, not an expectation when joining this International family! We are in gratitude of each and every lovely individual who has become a part of this little community to date. Despite the uncertainty of when they will be able to return home, there is a mutual sense of support, respect, love and care within the villa. We still have three private rooms and two beds in our triple room available if you know of anyone in this area looking for a place of community.
Unlike much of the world, Hoi An is surreally calm and contained. The government has shared the fabulous idea of children - who have not been in school since mid January - flying kites. This ingenious move has led to a sky full of fluttering, brightly coloured 'birds', and cleverly maintains social distancing as if they get too close, they tangle! Aside from the eerie quiet of the Old Town and increased number of announcements coming through the ubiquitous loud speakers, there is currently freedom of movement. Wearing face-masks outside of the home is compulsory, as is social distancing and the advice on limiting unnecessary journeys is being taken seriously, however, it is such a far cry from the news we are seeing unfold in so many other countries. The reality of what we know to be true, is hard to grasp and accept when our own families are also so far away and experiencing this - as many of you also are - first hand.
We will continue to add to the resources on our webpage for those of you looking for tools to bring mindful practices in from home, share moments from our commune as it truly grows into community, and for light relief, add to our 'Animals at Gratitude' Instagram page.
Once more, I would like to share words I have seen many times over the past week, and hope may offer some comfort.
What if you thought of it as the Jews consider the Sabbath— the most sacred of times? Cease from travel. Cease from buying and selling. Give up, just for now, on trying to make the world different than it is. Sing. Pray. Touch only those to whom you commit your life. Center down.
And when your body has become still, reach out with your heart. Know that we are connected in ways that are terrifying and beautiful. (You could hardly deny it now.) Know that our lives are in one another’s hands. (Surely, that has come clear.) Do not reach out your hands. Reach out your heart. Reach out your words. Reach out all the tendrils of compassion that move, invisibly, where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love– for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, so long as we all shall live. –Lynn Ungar 3/11/20
With gratitude and love,
"Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love" - Brené Brown