Phu Quoc – COCO Valley might be the death of me

My first day volunteering at the hotel start off a bit crazy, but fun.  Hoang is in the kitchen getting the breakfast food preps done, and the drinks.  This is crazy, he is some sort of Happy Superman.  He takes the orders, cooks, delivers the food, and also cleans up.

I am really happy I am able to help out in anyway.  I start off with the easy task.  Dishes, and cleaning up, while I let Smiley (Hoang), do his Superman stuff.

They are so backed-up, that I spent 3 or more hours that day just doing dishes.  The only thing, is the sink is lower than my hips.  So bending over is starting to kill me.

I am loving it though.  Thao and Hoang are two of the nicest people, always smiling and never complaining about how much work is needed.  They just do it, and make it fun.

Over the next 4 days, I spend most of my time doing dishes, cleaning, and making the special breakfast drinks.  My back is killing me though.  Mr. Tien thinks it is the sink, being too low.  I know that is only part of it, the real part if 3 herniated discs, not being used to standing all day again.

I think my favorite part is doing receptionist relief work, for Thao.  I love it because it gave me an excuse to talk to all the pretty guest.

On the 4th day, Hoang  tells me this is his last day.  I am like, WHAT!.  He is going back to school.

For a brief moment, I panic.  I cannot do everything this Happy Superman does.  I am a lazy Canadian!

On his last day, he gave me all of his wisdom, and I can show you, he taught me well.

Student like Teacher

Another picture of Hoang and I going to get beer.
Two good looking men, with beer on a scooter.

After he awoke from his nap, we went to the beach for a final goodbye swim.

As you can see, he never stops smiling and laughing.  What a great guy to have as a friend and I will miss him a lot.

One thing that happens a lot working here, is I never really know what is going on.  Here are two perfect examples.

In the middle of the day, a guy comes in and starts cutting around the sink.  Picture a brand new sink, only installed 4 weeks ago, being cut apart.  I was like, what is going on here.  Then Ms. Thao tells me, Mr. Tien said, “It must be fixed!, it is too low for you.”

Wow.  Crazy!

Another example.

After the breakfast crowd, Ms. Thao or Hoang would cook me an omelette.  Well the one day, Mr. Tien, the owner brings it out to the eating area, and sets up a nice table.  I am like, OK, this is too fancy for me to just eat.

Then I realize what is happening,  I am now modeling for promo pictures of the hotel.  This proves I am sexy!  Even without makeup!
Again, what did I get myself into!

I had not waxed in a while, so they used a real model for the bikini shots.  That is the only reason though.  Right!

Well, those were the highlights of the first 4 days of volunteering at the hotel.  It is so much different in how they work, compared to how we work.  Here, there isn’t any set hours.  There is no separation between work and life.  It is just life.  They work when work is needed, and when it is not, they do other things.  This removes the stress part.  Like, when you wake up, the first thing you think about isn’t, “Oh shit, I only have 30 minutes to eat and leave!”  Here it is, “Aww I am awake, what to do first.”  You just don’t stress over when you work, when you leave work, that sort of thing, you just live life.

There is a down side to it.  Nothing is organized, and no one is on time.  1 PM could mean, 11 AM or 3 PM.  They just don’t stress over time.  Actually no one wears a watch!

Wish me luck, Hoang is going back to school!  I hope my back can handle it!

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