Just a quick post here to let you know we’re all back safe and sound in Luang Prubang and ready to board our flight home tomorrow afternoon.
Our village experience was something to savour. It’s not everyday that you get an opportunity to immerse yourself in another culture and experience the life they lead. I’m pretty sure I’m safe in saying that we all have been deeply affected by the experience and it will help shape our lives from this time forward. I’m too exhausted to write an extensive post about all we did – its 11.40pm now and I need sleep! Here’s a recap of Day 1, written by Tiffany and Lily.
Day 1 at the village
After the pleasure of getting to sleep in and not having to pack in a small amount of time, we departed the Haysoke Hotel on a tuk tuk. After 2 and a half hours we arrived at the village where we would be staying for the next few days. We where greeted by the head of the community and many of the villagers. Afterwards we where split into groups of 2 or 3 and where taken to our hostess’ homes to be shown where we would be staying. Many of the homes where completely different to what the majority of us have experienced. Instead of a shower they had a trough of water and a bucket in order to pour the water over you, instead of a flushable toilet off the ground they had squat toilets and instead of a mattress they had mats on the floor with mosquito nets above. The hostess’ were very welcoming despite the fact that we didn’t speak the same language.
After a lovely lunch in he community hall we headed to a village close by. Unlike the village we were staying at, they didn’t have the luxuries of education. For this reason we would help their village build a school. When we arrived we straight away began working on the concrete posts. This involved mixing sand, cement, gravel and water all together in a certain process to form the concrete. We then poured it into the frames. As a team we all worked together to get 6 posts done in around 2 hours. Although it was very hot, sweaty and tiring it was pleasing to know that we were making a difference.
After coming back to the village and enjoying another delicious meal we all gathered along with the community for a welcoming celebration. The school children performed songs and dances for us, we all played games together and we even performed “Spirit” and “Dynamite” for them. It was a fantastic night and a great bonding experience for us and the community. We then headed off to bed, experiencing a new way of life and wondering what other great opportunities are ahead of us in the village.
By Lily and Tiffany
I did ask the girls to write posts for the other days, but our time was occupied with our construction work and other activities – they were pretty tired at the end of each day.
The picture above was taken today at a Blessing Ceremony held for us by the local and neighboring village. These are very special occasions in village life, usually reserved for weddings and new year celebrations. We felt very privileged to have the villagers hold one in our honor. It was quite moving and made it even harder to leave these kind and generous Laos people.
Your daughters will have many tales to tell on their return home. Both Justine and I am sure that their world view has altered as a result of this experience. Thank you all for supporting them to take this journey.
Thanks too for the comments you have left here. The girls have been reading them. All going well, we should be seeing you sometime around 3.30pm on Friday afternoon.