We had a load of fruit for breakfast on Wednesday 15th September, the last day of week 3 of the Directive 16 lockdown, which was due to end at 7pm tonight. There were 26 cases in our province, none in Dong Hoi, 8 in Bo Trach but none near us so it was looking hopeful that we would be approaching some freedom perhaps. Captain Caveman, as usual, was more optimistic than I about this and he felt pretty sure that at least the part of our commune of Hung Trach, where we live, would be given a reprieve. Finally Vietnam daily Corona cases had started to decrease and in our local area there was some outside activity. Khuong Ha had been allowed to harvest the (half ruined by rain) rice and were given help to do so, there were lots of flowers blooming and the Elements staff were power washing the vans. Captain Caveman did us both peanut butter on toasted baguette and we ate it on the balcony, with a passion fruit treat for afters. We spent the afternoon in the pool and I had 2 ciders while Captain Caveman had beers.
Finally we got the confirmation of the Directives for our area; all of Phong Nha and Cu Nam would move from Directive 16 to Directive 19 which meant people there could go out and about again. Unfortunately, because our village of Khuong Ha is in Hung Trạch (not Phong Nha) we would move from Directive 16 to Directive 15, which meant we could only leave the house for essential reasons, like going to work, to get food, etc. This was definitely bad news for us and Captain Caveman didn’t take it well, I had a feeling this would happen and just needed to know if the restrictions for leaving to go for a PCR test would be any easier. I let Danny, the driver, know the news that it may still be difficult for me to attempt an escape any time soon and he responded with news that Hanoi would be lifting their lockdown from the 21st September, which meant if I could get there I could get a PCR test to fly with, in Hanoi. We mulled over lots of different options and thought there could be a chance that I might be able to leave but it was also risky as it could still all go wrong and waste more money. We decided I would call Singapore Airlines tomorrow and move my flight to the end of September and hope our village was out of lockdown by then.
At 6pm Captain Caveman got a message from his colleague at Oxalis to say that I would be getting my 2nd Astra Zeneca vaccination on Sunday and we were so happy! It actually made a pretty shit day so much better!
We had one of our favourites for dinner; pulled pork with cabbage and pickled cucumber on baguettes and watched another film, All the Money in the World. It is definitely worth watching as I didn’t know the story about J P Getty, and it’s a pretty terrible one.
That night, as we went to bed, there was one of the worst storms I’ve ever tried to sleep through and I was actually scared the roof might come in, although Captain Caveman had explained that it was structurally unlikely. We realised too late that we had also left the pool towels out but I didn’t want to risk going out to get them. The thunder and lightening were right above us and, of course, the power went out again. I lay awake for ages wondering if Duyet and Carrot would be ok and if we were getting the floods they had predicted.

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