For three months I have been working in this beautiful attic room with a view over the rooftops down the Sapa valley. For company I have a chant of ceramic Buddhas ( is 'chant' a good collective namefor Buddhas?) and an amazing variety of insects that visit my window each day.
It has been a welcome time of relative solitude here in Sapa. There are hardly any expats in town so I seldom socialise. My only company is the friendly staff who work hard in the cafe downstairs all day. They don't all speak English so I have learned some more Vietnamese and 'thank you' in Hmong, Red Dzao, and Tay! Two are learning Frnech and helping them with their studies has been good practice for me as well.
In this valley I have found a kind of universal human kindness I have never come across before. For them, it is natural, for me it is humbling. The ordinary people of Vietnam will kill you with their kindness and break your heart when you have to leave. I will be departing on Sept 26th and I dread saying my farewells to these wonderful people.
It will not be goodbye. I will be back next summer ot set up the Sapa Art Festival again.