30 October 2016

My Family

It's Sunday morning and I'm sitting upstairs at Da Lat's One More Café, enjoying the food, the view,
a bit of random conversation, the fresh air, and the cool weather.

Two weeks ago, I arrived home after two months in America, and it's good to be back. This is, I think, only my fourth trip out of the house because of my injury and severely diminished capacity to do many things that we take for granted... like walking, using stairs, and even going to the bathroom in the middle of the night. "Cabin fever" is real, trust me.

The only way I could be here is with a LOT of help and support from ViLa and her/my family. She brings food in or cooks for me every day; makes sure I'm comfortable on my throne (couch); does the laundry; and, most importantly, lets me know that I'm loved and cherished.

Right after I shattered my knee and when I was still in the hospital in Olympia, she pleaded with me daily to "come home and let me take care of you." I was smart enough to say, "Yes, please" and fly back as soon as the doctor cleared me for travel.

The support from other family members is also quite humbling. Honey (daughter) is always happy and lets me assist her in coloring or playing "Concentration" or just watching cartoons together; her father came by last week with a LOT of delicious yogurt that he made just for me; her aunts and cousin stopped by to visit and one of the aunts insisted that I wear the Buddha necklace that she took from around her own neck

so that I will be protected from future mishaps; her Mom and sister are in Saigon and call daily to inquire as to my health and well-being.

WOW! I'm a damn lucky guy!!!

It's two more months before I can toss aside the crutches and gimp around on my own, so my ONLY hope is that my caregivers can hold on until then; even though I know they will.

Next up: I'll finally finish the post about last January's rides through the NW of Thailand...

14 October 2016

Yes, I'm still wandering the planet...

In fact, I'm writing this from the Cathay Pacific lounge at SFO.

My apologies to those of you who spent any time at all over the past 5 months and 24 days checking in to see if I've left any further droppings, only to find that I hadn't.

My self-talk (remember that term?) on not writing ranged from
"I've been 'too busy' doing" to
"Tomorrow" to
"I'm so far behind that I'll never get caught up" to
"If only I could finish writing about Thailand, I could move to what happened next".

What finally got me to sit down at the keyboard again? Two things, mostly...

1) Last night (Oct 12th) as Tom Nogler drove me back to Doug & Cathy Riddel's house where I was to spend my last evening in the US, he saw a guy he knows. Ray Guerra, is a local activist who was out doorbelling for Opportunity for Olympia, and he stopped to chat. Tom immediately introduced us and mentioned that I was flying home in the morning—the reason I'm currently in the Cathay lounge. Then he dramatically paused and said, "Home to Vietnam."

Ray perked up and said that he was in Vietnam last December and, before that, in 2009; that he loved the country; and that he wants to return.

After a few more minutes of conversation, Ray suddenly bursts out, "I READ YOUR BLOG!"

Wow, really? Yes, really! I hadn't yet mentioned that I used to write a blog...

Then he told me that over the past months he'd checked back fairly regularly and finally decided that, "I figured you'd bitten it." As in died.


I've just been blogging like it.


I'm B-A-ACK!

Thanks, Ray. I hope to see you in Việt Nam soon...

Ray also said that he thinks he'd like to live in Vietnam, but he wants to have a purpose other than teaching English. My immediate response, "Come help me provide helmets to children."

I'm pretty sure he's thinking about it...

2) I'm going to have a LOT of time on my hands once I get back home; my right leg was shattered at and below the knee on 01 October (yes, motorcycle) with the top of the tibia broken off and jammed down into the "goulash" that was the meat of my leg; the patella pulverized; and the fibula split.

Yeah. Ouch!

Dr. Aptagar rebuilt it for me:

After 8 days in the hospital I have a killer brace supporting and protecting it, BUT if I want it to heal properly, I cannot put ANY weight on it until 01 January 2017. 

That's 79 days from today that I'll be virtually under "house arrest"—no motorcycle, no scooter (not even as a passenger); no walking up the hill to the street for some cơm cà ri; and no walkabouts through the Central Market, District 1 in Saigon, or Big C.

It's a good thing I bought the one-off comfortable furniture for the living room. One of the first things I'll do is rig up a lap desk so that I can blog from the couch with my leg propped up.

I'll post later about what (I think) happened to put me here. I'll also post more and better photos.

My final thought... watch this again and then go DO SOMETHING!