Dear friends, loved ones and strangers across the globe
My husband Ashley and myself (Jackie), along with our 2 kids, 4 and 6 yrs old emigrated from South Africa to Vietnam in August 2018. Starting our SLOW digital nomad journey on the most beautiful beaches of Da Nang Vietnam.
We have moved into an amazing apartment building, 2 streets from the beach. Children play and laugh and ride their bikes on the street. Neighbours come bearing gifts of fruit and nuts and beer at any given moment. We gather at a table downstairs from our apartment building, which is situated on the sidewalk (most Vietnamese houses and buildings have these kind of tables outside) at any given moment for a friendly face to stop by and have a chat. It's actually so amazing to me. This custom makes it easier for neighbours to get to know each other and share some fruit, some food, some beer, etc.
A particular young Vietnamese couple took us under their wings and was so supportive of us throughout this journey of finding our feet here. They came with us to the hospital to translate etc when our children were ill, assisted in getting them medicine and brought plenty fruit daily with advice to get the kids better soon. They always came knocking and bearing fruit as gifts tbh. They went along to sort out my sons bike to get fixed with a Vietnamese shop owner that sold it to us. They are newly weds, a young couple who have also been trying for their own child. They played with and came bearing gifts for our kids so many times. They simply love children (as do most Vietnamese tbh).
Things were perfectly blissful, until a few weeks ago when trouble came knocking at the door. Da Nang Vietnam is fast becoming the 2nd Thailand in terms of popularity for tourist destinations. With this comes an influx of developers, tourists, economy booms, locals start making a better living and can become entrepreneurs instead of working for their small limited salaries. They are actually able to start improving their lives.
This young couple took a chance, borrowed money from relatives and close friends, rented an apartment building and gained tenants. All was well. Life was perfect. They kept their day jobs (thank heavens) but as soon as they had paid off their loans, they wished to acquire a second building and go from there. What do they say "Life happens while we're making other plans".....
It turns out, the person they rented the apartment from was renting it from the original owner and subletting to them. He (the leasee) was supposed to pay 3 installments to the original owner for the rental of 1 year. He paid the 1st instalment, then disappeared. While all this was happening, our dearest friend was subletting it from the leasee (without his knowledge as documents were falsified to say he is the original owner) and paid all the money out to him. In Vietnam, the bigger the building, the further you need to pay out in advance. An apartment, 1 month deposit, a house 3-6 months deposit, an entire building, 1 year or more as deposit. The original owners have come back to claim their property that was not paid for by the middle guy (scamster) and completely caught our dear friends off guard as they were none the wiser to any of this. We only now know the full story.
They have lost EVERYTHING. They were given 24hrs to be out of the building (they were staying on-site as hosts). It all came as such a huge shock to everyone. The neighbors are upset, we're upset, everyone is upset. This little group of people in Vietnam have become our family. And we must take care of our families, wherever we find them.
God only knows, if I had this type of cash lying around, I'd give it to them in a heartbeat. They are good people with beautiful hearts and did not deserve what has happened to them. I myself am a spiritual person and believe the universe is always giving us lessons, ALL THE TIME. Nothing, no matter how bad, is ever without a purpose. But I also can not stand by and do nothing to help them. Lesson learned, I'm sure. Now let's help them move on.
Borrowing the money from a bank, is a whole other ball game. One that one can deal with. We have been there.....losing everything (in SA)....... But it is much easier to face debt collectors than family and friends whom you have borrowed money from. You have to look those people in the eyes every day. These things make or break relationships. And I'm pretty sure now that a child is no longer in the cards for them in the near future due to financial strains. I don't want this beautiful oh so young couple to get to that point yet. That point we all get to at some stage of our lives, asking "What did I look like when I was happy?"
There are 7 billion people in this world, if I can just get 30,000 of those 7 billion to donate $1.......it won't change your life in the slightest to donate that $1.......but adding it all up..........it would most certainly change theirs!
Love, Light and Peace to you all. And please, if you can't donate, at least just share it.
With Love, from the Connoways