Thursday, June 24

Last week in Laos for now...

Again, said goodbye to some wonderful people. What makes it harder is knowing that I'll most likely never see them again. We shared laughs and with some, even tears, and now these are only memories of the past.

Group II, another week at Elephant Camp. Since there's not much to do but be in the jungle with elephants, I think students get really close with one another. I was nervous that in this digital age, kids would be more socially awkward but I was wrong, or at least for these kids. For most, this was their first time travelling on their own; and for some, their first time ever leaving the country. I can't think of a better form of education but to see the world with your own set of eyes.

We all become a big family with the few Laos cooks and guides at the camp. It all comes together when we go camping into the deep jungles with all of them and the elephants and their mahouts for one night. While Laos men cut bamboo, creating all sorts of useful artifacts like cups, spoons, containers to make sticky rice, etc... the women cook delicious meals made with picked curry leaves, banana leaves, bamboo, etc...

I'm now staying in a bamboo hut facing the Mekong River. I get 1 full day to chill out before my next project. I'm going to Vietnam! More details to come...

Thanks for looking!

~kisses from Laos~

Otra vez, tuve que despedirme de los estudiantes. Es dificil porque lo mas probable es que nunca mas nos volvamos a ver. Compartimos risas y hasta con algunos, lagrimas. Y ahora esto es nada mas que recuerdos del pasado.

Grupo II, otra semana en el Campo de Elefantes. Como no hay mucho para hacer mas que estar en la jungla con elefantes, los estudiantes se hicieron muy buenos amigos. La verdad es que estaba un poco preocupada de que en esta era digital en que vivimos, los chicos serian medio aparatos, pero estaba muy equivocada. Por lo menos con estos chicos. Para la mayoria, esta seria su primera experiencia viajando por si mismo, y para otros, esta seria su primera vez viajando al extranjero. Estoy segura que no hay mejor forma de educarse mas que ver el mundo con sus propios ojos.

Ahora estoy en un tipo cabana de bamboo que da al Rio Mekong. Tengo un dia entero de descanso antes que empieze mi proximo projecto. Me voy a Vietnam! Detalles mas adelante.

Los quiero mucho!

~Besos desde Laos~

Thursday, June 17

Sa Bai Dee

Today I parted ways from my first group of students, and what can I say, It's never easy to say goodbye, no matter how much or little you know someone. These kids remind me of my teenage years and also, that I'm getting old. You learn so much when you teach, or guide the youth and I couldn't be more grateful.

The students spent this past week in an elephant training program. Each kid got their own elephant for whom they took good care of: bathed them, fed them and let them roam free in the jungle. We slept in Bungalows and ate some amazing food.

I've been working on par with Lao and Thai guides and that alone is an experience. Cool thing is they got the ins and outs for the less visited places like tribal villages and places in the jungles hardly exposed.

I'm back in a white walled hotel room with AC and internet, oh yeah, and no weird looking bugs next to me.

Location of photographs:

Luang Prabang, Laos.


Cool Kids!

Thursday, June 10

So Far

I still pinch myself to see if I'm dreaming. I'm in a city I never knew existed, seeing new faces and hearing new things every day. I feel like a newborn. It's been almost a week since I've arrived to South East Asia and I'm still trying to grasp my current reality. A week ago I was emptying out my room in San Francisco, and having moments of complete desperation. I was even doubting my decision to leave the city and moping around like a turd. Now, all I think about is wanting to extend my trip and/or just become a traveling gypsy again (this happens to me every time I travel). Here, my worries are if I should bring my film or digital camera out for the day, if I ran out of toothpaste and/or if I remembered to email my family. That will all change in about 9 hours when i have to wake up 8 teenagers and take them over to Luan Prabang.

Run through: I'm working for a travel company called Rustic Pathways as a travel guide. I will be leading about 3-4 projects while I'm here.

So far, I've met most of the South East Asia staff and they have to be some of the kindest people I've ever met. Well, enough words, I'm beat, and I've got some photos to share.

Much Love <3

Saturday, June 5

Day 01

The beginning of my trip starts at the airport, or many of them. Three flights, three countries, 10 hours. People lie on benches while they wait for their connecting flights. Sun beams through the oval shaped airplane windows, bouncing off a missionary couple.