...and the little villages behind

Trip Start Feb 20, 2012
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Trip End Oct 22, 2012


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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  , Louangphabang,
Friday, March 16, 2012

From Nong Khiaw on a boat up north on the Nam Ou. On the sides steep limestone mountains covered in green. Here and there huge naked trees look like white flowers popping out from the forest. Buffaloes in the river. Some are the usual black water buffaloes, others are just white, actually more pinkish due to the sun pre-cooking their skin (buffalo soup with bamboo shoots..suggested!).

Sailing the river is definitely much much much more comfortable than being shaked in a bus or sawngthaew (BTW, if someone knows how to pronounce sawngthaew i would be happy to know!). Slowly we arrive to Muang Ngoi Neua. It is described in the guide as a 500 people village that could be reached just by boat. To be honest again there are may be 500 tourists and just few more locals, but the view is amazingly beautiful.

In the morning we decide to go for a small trekking in the villages behind. And finally here we are, just us and a dirt road sneaking between the limestone peaks and the dried rice fields. Unfortunately the sky is quite covered, and even the polarizer could not clean it. I can just say that the pictures are not as beautiful as what you could see.

The villages gave us the first bite of rural life, man gathering in the shadow, a woman working on the raw cotton, kids playing in the school courtyard. The English teacher of Ban Na, met while looking for the path to the next village, was so kind to practice some of his professional skills with us...definitely helpful for both us and him.

I can state without doubt that the kids hold the power everywhere. Their will is imposed to the adults who probably well know that this is not going to be the case for long. Indeed at 7/8 years they are already self-sufficient and helping in some of the home/field work. I spend some time showing the movies of the trip to a 5/6 years old girl and after many videos that here actually not of great interest for her, we found a contact point! Heua! Boat! Nam! River (or water)! A common experience that makes the mother laugh at us being so surprised of knowing something about each other.


In the night I'm pushed in a strange dream, I could call it nightmare except for the emotional aspect. I'm on a trip somewhere in a tropical country, there is something strange going on and nobody seems to realize it. The kids have a strange behavior, kind of a military one. Move around in groups, push the people and if they fall down they enroll them in the group of those pushing (only the kids fall, and me. Seem that there is a Peter Pan hidden in me!). The adults just take it as a game, but step by step, I realize that the kids have a plan. Killing all the adults! Those that do not fall, indeed, are pushed like sheep, gathered together. I don't see any blood but, i know, they are all going to die. I don't know exactly why the kids are doing so, but I understand that they have a clear utopia to follow, can see it in their eyes. I wake up 4 am, with the strange taste of the tropical nights in my mouth. While laying down I realize that the mix of Lariam and Beerlao  is more powerful than i thought. 
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