When Gab first said we were couch surfing I was a little apprehensive. I like people but I need a certain amount of “me” time at the end of the day to remain a functional human being. Introvert doesn’t really begin to describe it. The idea of staying with people we had never met and spending a few days with them sounded far from ideal but after our experience with Dieu and her family I was a couch surfing convert.
We arrived in Đồng Phú, Vietnam in the heat of the day. We were meeting Dieu at the local market. While we were waiting I took the opportunity to have a little nap. Gab took the opportunity to take a photo of me taking the opportunity to have a little nap. Such fun.
We found Dieu and she walked with us to her family’s home. It was really hot and she nearly fainted multiple times on the way. Walking isn’t for everyone it seems but we all made it to the house in one piece. We discovered that Dieu had taken time off her job in Ho Chi Minh to host us. She doesn’t get many days of annual holiday leave so this was a really big deal.
Dieu’s mum, dad and grandma live on the property together. Her village is quite small and very green. We had timed our stay very well as three of her uncles were also visiting. These guys were big characters and joked and laughed with us with the help of Dieu’s excellent translation.
After walking 20km that day we were slightly wrecked but the family had hired a karaoke sound system complete with keyboardist and sound guy to make sure the night was one to remember. Dieu, Gab and I sang a Backstreet Boys classic, Backstreet’s Back. It was pretty major. Sorry you missed it. Dieu’s uncles sang well into the night.
Throughout our stay Dieu’s mum fed us amazing food and was constantly worried that we weren’t eating enough. She even catered to my strange vegetarian ways. At one point one of the grandma’s friends came by and the first question she asked was, “Which one is the vegetarian?” I was a bit of an anomaly. Gab on the other hand tried everything including the Vietnamese delicacy, snake head soup.
On the second day of our stay, Dieu took us for a walk around her village and showed us the sights. It was really beautiful and full of gorgeous fruit trees. We shared a drink at the ferry stop and said goodbye to her uncles as they returned to their villages. Dieu told us that her uncles really miss their sister (Dieu’s mum) when they are away. There was a lot of love in this family, we didn’t need Dieu to translate that.
Our stay with Dieu turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip. We were welcomed into their family with open arms. It was truly incredible. Dieu even asked us to send through some photos of ourselves so that her mum could laminate and keep them. We left feeling like one of the family. Couch surfing is kind of amazing.
Humans are great. We like humans. 🤗