An incredible weekend in Laos When I think back on the weekend we had here in Laos, I notice that we did something fun every single second of the day. The weekend started with the introduction of our new family member, our dear Bruno! His name was first Nikki, but after a couple of beers and Bruno Mars' songs loud on the speaker on Friday evening, Aay named him Bruno. Both Mari and I highly supported the new name choice.
So about Friday; We celebrated a huge thing for us: the Chief of Village, the Director of the School, inspectors, teachers and the police gathered in our house to have a lovely dinner and officially welcome our organization to the village. They stated that they were overwhelmed by the work we had done for the village children and they have signed a document stating that they will do what they can to support our mission, which will be passes forward to the Ministry of Education. Things take time in Laos, so this message was great news for us only 4 months into our journey. In true Lao style, the evening ended with all, both women and men, cheering and dancing. And in the spirit of equality, Aay played one Lao song followed by one western song all night long (And that's where the Bruno name came into the picture; Aay LOVES Bruno Mars, haha).
On Saturday, we packed for a picnic, put on our Vietnamese rice field hats and drove to the riverside 15 minutes from our house. Mari and I jumped around in the grass, took a few (hundreds) of photos and I was pretty stoked when a butterfly landed on my finger and stayed there for a while. Aay and a couple of his friends dived and caught fish, which they grilled on the fire. The meal was so simple, so tasty and so incredible. Mari and I looked at each other and shaked our head in disbelief that we were actually in this wonderful situation in a country so far from home. Actually, we have had a lot of those moment on this trip. It's been a great adventure - one for the books for sure.
On Sunday, we rented a van and drove to the dam (a huge lake) only 20 minutes from the house. We rented a boat with Aay's friends and drove to a tiny island where we swam, relaxed on underwater trees and had a delicious picnic. Aay loves to prepare food outside as simple as possible and let his thoughts nostalgically wonder off to life in his old village where they survived off the nature. It's sad to hear him talk so warmly of his old village, which now is history due to the government who flooded the village in order to produce electricity... However, it's nice to learn about his old life and appreciate nature in a new way together with him. We drove home in the lake boat to the sound of the boys singing Lao songs (Which by the way also was one of these moments when you realize how lucky you are to be exactly where you are to experience the moment).
All together a great weekend with loads of activities and so much fun. On Sunday evening, we prepared the school week and it was hard to fall asleep knowing that Monday would be an exciting first day with the new learning lab and 120 students joining us in our project house for English and IT education.