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Laos Children Holds Great Future to Their Country or Just Follow the Path of Their Current Regime

November 29, 2009
This past weekends I had the opportunity to a look through old album.  Most of the pictures I took are children, I spend lots of time with children.  throughout my visits I always bring along children games that’s is creative, educational and very fun activity that they could still play even when I am no longer there. Gosh, it felt like it was just yesterday.

My sleeping quarter while visiting my grandmother at the country side, my bed is against the wall

My first visit I had a hard time adjusting to the living condition.  Currently when I looked at the pictures at first it is very sadden because initially I saw the conditions; they are filthy. But then again if you look hard and deep enough these pictures showed characters of each individual strength and weakness.

I saw children expressions are happy, curious, playfulness, innocent and very powerful.  I can even compare these children to body of water that flows through Laos. The Mekong river; a tiny drop of water started its journey’s from the  Himalaya carved through mountains and lakes through Tibet, China it carved a small streams, rivers and then gather it all mighty strength to become the longest river in Southeast Asia and it border many countries. The mighty river have the powers to create and destroy lives.  These children are just like the river they can carves, creates a better future for lao people by built a stronger foundation or they can follow the current path, a very weaken foundation that was destroyed by their previous generation or do nothing at all. There are so many obstacles which make me wonder if they could make a differences. 

I have a lot of hope by witnessing  a twin-born couples day before my arrival at my grand mother village.  Both of them look healthy and they are getting  their first vaccination donated by the UNICEF. Remember? the little orange box we carrier around during Halloween?  those penny both dull and shinny was a bless when you witness that the money we donated is at work in Laos. The beige box on the left hand side is a cooler storage vaccines for the children.

Mom and her new-born being examined at the clinic

Clinic outside of Vientiane, nurse is in the process of given her newborn first vaccination

Older sister holding onto another one of her new-born sibling while her mom have her other sibling examined by a nurse

 Although the clinic is not what we used to in the United States.  It is the initiative for basic health care that Non-Government Organization is working hard to keep it going.  My gripes; it is only temporary once the money ran out or their visa expired they leave the country.  Some will try to go back but some will travel else where.

Children playing near the clinic all got some popsicle, no wonder they like to hang out with me

Mekong river looking over Thailand side, looks more modern

Those children are fast they are all the way down close to the river and I'm not even close and I'm running out of breathe, and where is my inhaler? The hot sand and the midday sun doesn't helper neither. Shoot!!! I'm suppose to be in charge of the kids and I haven't been swimming since I graduated from high school. Their parents entrusted me to watch the kids it's more like the opposite.

Yep the mighty Mekong river during dry season. MUDDY !! just the way I liked my coffee muddy.

Kids showing off, the water was pretty cold, even the river looks calm the curent is pretty strong

No matter where you are at, children will always be children play until the adult said “OK kids it’s time to head back home” let’s get a clean bath and get ready for dinner, because aunty Salalao have a surprise! I brought some Hershey chocolate bars, marshmallows, and gram crackers. We are making SMORE!!! I asked my uncle to cut some bamboo and make skews for me, the children gather around the fire-place as I showed them how to assemble after we toasted the marshmallow. 
Looking back to Laos side not much building. I wonder how long will it last? quiet and peaceful……..

Small walking trail from the Mekong river walking toward the village

Cousins showing off their pets, I asked if I could have the big one for making larp ped

Children in Xieng Kuang Province

These are couple old picture my second visit to Laos. I was able to visit the Northern part of Laos, Xieng Kuang province and saw the plain of jars. What an ingenious way to use a scrapes from the war and made something useful, Lao engineering at work; materials provided by left over U.S dumpster.

Stilt house make with left over clusters bomb shell

Plain of Jars- Xieng Kuang, Phonsavanh

Children from the village at Hinboun province standing near the river welcome our visit

Little girl with her sibling begging at tala sao market

There are some promising to the future of Laos, if they live in the larger cities or the capital and  if their parent’s have the resources to send them to school, buy uniforms and some children even attend extra curriculum studying a second  languages such as, English or Chinese etc…… Some of these children will have better future since they will be able to study aboard in Australia or even in the United States. For some who have no choices but beg on the street to make a day to day living along with their parents.  I don’t want to disregard this unfortunate children future.  With hope they will re-direct their destiny to make a better future for themselves.

Young girls walking to school after lunch break, Vientiane

I’m on my way to Talat Sao Market, it’s a short distance from where I lived the street is not that busy. I came across these children walking back to school after their afternoon break. We rely on these young girls to make the better choices and whether or not Laos can compete and develop economically like the rest of the Southeast Asia countries.

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11 Comments
  1. lady0fdarkness permalink
    November 29, 2009 8:55 PM

    happy thanksgiving..

    would like me to email you the recipe for the octopus salad or would you like me to just write it here?

    • salalao permalink*
      November 29, 2009 11:31 PM

      Ladyodarkness,
      Thanks in advance for sharing the recepie, Would you e-mail it to me at salalao@aim.com
      I think this is the right time to visit Laos. Certain part of Laos is still the same as my family had left thirty years ago. For the past ten years I saw some improvement but not much. If you haven’t seen a movie “Sabaidee Luang Prabang” I highly recommended, is just a like quick tour guide to Laos with a cute actor.

  2. lady0fdarkness permalink
    November 29, 2009 8:56 PM

    I wish to see my beautiful birth country one day..
    thanks for sharing the photos.

  3. November 30, 2009 2:09 AM

    salalao, thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures. I felt heavy heart when I think of what the future will hold for these children, I think for those that live in the city and have relatives overseas, their future seem brighter, but those that are far from civilization, I just hope that they will at least learn to read and write so that they can help themselves.

    After reading your post, I can’t help but to think that you’re in the medical field.

    • salalao permalink*
      November 30, 2009 8:25 PM

      Nye
      100% agreeding with you there, but there always hope that they will venture to the large city and take to opportunity to get the education so they can be better off than their parents.

      Yeah you’re also right I’m in medical field.
      That is why I would like to go back home and practice my skill I’ll charge less. haha

    • December 1, 2009 4:07 AM

      salalao, I’m in the Business sector and don’t think I’d last a day in Laos, my sister and dad said that I’m too honest, and in this case isn’t always the best policy, as we all know that most are not like that, I might face disappointment after disappointment, plus I don’t do well with the Lao time. Your skill will be very useful there, you’d be able to teach the local villagers a thing or two.

  4. November 30, 2009 10:59 AM

    I think Nye pretty much said it all. Those kids in small villages far away from city are having less chance to continue studying. Due to the fact that their parents can’t afford to send them to school. It is sad that those kids never reach their potential. The last alternative usually turn their children to the temple in big city. That’s why you’ll see big numbers of novice monks roaming around in Luangprabang. It is a opportunity for those novice monks to gain free education that they never would receive otherwise. But those monks will be missing their normal childhood experience and force them to be an adult at such a early age in life. I can’t imagine letting go your kids at age 8-10 years old. It is sad… i’ll end it here ;-(

  5. salalao permalink*
    November 30, 2009 12:28 PM

    Hi guys-
    I hope everyone got over the Thanksgiving dinner with no left over !!
    I’m dragged myself in to work today at 10:00am.

    Nye and Seeharhed
    You are right about the children in small village, they probaly don’t have a chance to study and advance themselves, but I would’t discount their determination to be better than their parents. I’ve witness my parents struggle to put food on the table and allowances for us while we were in school. I vowed to myself I would get a higner education no matter what, with that determination and commiment I got to where I’m at. Yours parents and my are among the luckiest people who have us and our siblings to depended on.

    I just hope that lao children who are able to recieved education can make a big differents for their country. I might be selfish becuase I really do want to go back home.

  6. Victor permalink
    November 30, 2009 5:25 PM

    Salalao – this is a very beautiful and well written post. Your description of the children, local village life and Mekong River transported me to those places when I close my eyes. It is so surreal.

    • salalao permalink*
      November 30, 2009 6:53 PM

      Victor
      I thought you are on vaction? I’m glad you’re still able to visit and chatts. Laos have a lot of catching up to do with the rest of the neighboing countries. My greatest hope to Laos future really depended on these children(:O(

  7. December 1, 2009 7:11 AM

    Hi!

    Another fabulous write up and enjoyed the pictures a lot. The ones of Vientiane along the Mekong reminded me of a time Aon and I stayed there and walked down to the Mekong one afternoon at dusk.

    I enjoy your posts about Laos immensely and will share more of my stories on my blog of Laos as well.

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