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The Gratitude Vietnam Retreat Venue Blog

Villa and yoga sala progress… upcycling while we wait!

Dear Friends,

We hope you are well and enjoyed the Spring Break if you had one, and indulged on some lovely chocolate!

The past few weeks have been a test of resolve and patience as we’ve negotiated (and renegotiated!) the design of the yoga sala in order to gain a permit to build! We are however at a point where everyone involved seems to be happy, and we now just need the government to approve the build, which we are told should be straightforward and relatively quick. In the interim, the builders have made a start on raising the level of the land in order to significantly reduce the flood risk during rainy months.

A photograph of building work starting to create a yoga sala for the retreat center Gratitude Vietnam in Hoi An.

On Monday we signed the final contract for the villa with a completion date of 15th May, and will soon be able to start transporting the many boxes of crockery, cafetieres, glassware and ‘Gratitude’ tote bags etc. from our house (which has become a temporary warehouse!), and begin putting them in their rightful places!

The villa itself has truly been worth the wait and is looking absolutely stunning. The iron railings around the balconies and stairs are now in place; shutters and window frames have been painted beautiful contrasting shades of blue; bed-frames and various antique furniture in keeping with the original structure are in situ; and any woodwork stained to unify the build. It is a world away from our first visit, when we had to climb a ladder to access the first floor! With so many delays along the way, there have definitely been moments of doubt as to whether we made the right decision to wait, but now that everything is coming together, we’re so glad that we did!

We were fascinated to discover a little more of the history of the wooden structure with which we first fell in love! It is much older than we initially thought, dating back to the late 19th/early 20th century. Originally belonging to a senior officer of the Nguyen Dynasty (1802–1945), it has mother of pearl inlaid panels in the roof of the meditation space. We had assumed the characters were Mandarin, but they are actually a poem written in ancient Vietnamese, which we hope to have translated.

During this slightly tentative period, we have continued to keep ourselves busy with designing and making the ‘little extras’ for the villa, and finalising content for the website. An exceptional seamstress, Hannah has produced waxed cloth food wraps and pouches, delicately beaded fabric food coverings made from upcycled broken necklaces, as well as beautiful bags and jewellery! We now also have home-made road signs and a mandala design to be painted onto the yoga sala floor.

A hand made wooden road-sign for Gratitude Vietnam.

We’ll be blogging more regularly with updates again now that we are back in the full swing of moving forwards, and very much look forward to being able to properly show you the reason we have held out for this particular villa!

With gratitude and love,

The signature of Naomi and Hannah at the Gratitude Vietnam Meditation Retreat Center in SEA
“I don’t think outside of the box; I think of what I can do with the box” Unknown

#HoiAn #Sustainability #GratitudeVietnam #RetreatVenue #RetreatCenter #RetreatCentre #SustainableTourism #RetreatinVietnam #YogaRetreat #MeditationRetreat #ReikiRetreat

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