Midday, March 23rd: Waterwise closes its doors; 10 staff stood down; pool empty! Overwhelmed by the unknown, frightened for the future, our dedicated team and valued customers had gone without a chance to say goodbye. The feeling was surreal. What now? For how long?

Looking back… it was only 12 months ago that 5 Waterwise teachers and Waterwise founder, Lyn O’Brien travelled to Vietnam! I’d like to share with you a little story of our trip and how truly grateful we are to have had that opportunity.

The Waterwise Team flew to Vietnam to be part of the charity swim program “Swim Vietnam” in Hoi An. What an amazing trip!! There was all the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Min City; noisy scooters, exotic food; temples; graceful ladies balancing enormous loads of produce on sturdy bikes, happy children everywhere! Then beautiful Hoi An by the sea: food tours by scooter; hire bikes in the sweltering heat, lanterns swaying in the evening breeze after busy days teaching swimming.

The kids we taught were so beautiful, keen to learn and always trying their best. The Vietnamese instructors were friendly, welcoming and an absolute pleasure to work with despite speaking very little English. I tried to master a few teaching words of Vietnamese, but it was extremely challenging! After much coaching, I attempted to say “head down” in Vietnamese to the students, the interpreter giggled and told me I was telling them to “put a blanket on”. Everyone was so grateful, welcoming and appreciative. It gave us all a refreshing new perspective on life! I felt so humbled that so many of our Waterwise teachers gave up their winter break, to make a real difference to the lives of children in Vietnam.

It’s been exactly 2 months since we closed our doors. I find myself reflecting upon the empty pool and carpark… what will swimming lessons look like in the future? It’s difficult to grasp any sense of certainty in this unknown time.

We have made the decision to wait until after our usual winter break before reopening. We are planning to open on Monday August 3rd. Perhaps things will be a little different, but regardless, our team will be ready to assist with any necessary changes to ensure we continue to provide swimming and water safety lessons to our community. Please keep in touch: Website, Facebook and Instagram.