This could be long

So I don’t know when the last real update was… but, some things have happened since then.

  1. I have really started to like Laung Prabang.
  2. I have met some amazing people.
  3. I am ready to leave Laung Prabang.

First day I spend being lazy (what is new, right?) and I justified it by saying I had just come from a long three days of traveling. Valid point. Today I woke up early and went for breakfast and some Internet at a place I found that has free Wi-Fi, where I promptly forgot about updating my blog and focused in on some good facebook stalking, coupled with a feeble attempt to download the last episode of Heroes. I failed at the download due to the excruciatingly slow internet they have here in 3rd world asia. Seriously, when are they going to get with the times and get high speed cable internet to these beautiful bamboo shacks? In facebook stalking I was much more successful, so I am caught up on all the gossip going on at home, without even needing to talk to anyone.

(disclaimer / spoiler) I found heroes at the Pirated DVD store that every street in South East Asia has, and am pissed that once again, nothing is explained, and we still don’t have a clue as to what is going on. Now Peter can do everything and is good again, and Silar is back? Come on and finish already. Just kidding, please don’t go on strike, finish the series.

After I wasted a good hour on the internet accomplishing nothing, I walked around most of the temples and gardens in this city. Laung Prabang was originally a French Colony, as was most of Laos, so it has a lot of old french architecture, and most of the buildings are still built in the old French style. The whole town is very small, and this took me about 3 hours. So I had an early lunch, followed by a nap.

I made it up to the temple that is on top of a little mountain overlooking the town for sunset, and was rewarded for my 400 steps up a hillside covered in tiny, 13-year-old, “help me sir, for I am starving and need money for my school, so please buy a little bracelet that I hand made to pay for my school… Yes they are different from that girl over there’s bracelets, because she copied me,” sales people by a stunning view, which I have kindly shared with you below.

You have to realize that these children selling goods are everywhere in Southeast Asia, and they rarely get to keep any money they get. After a while, you just get callused to them, and shrug it off. If I were to giver to everyone, I would go broke in a day, and nothing would get done about the situation. Seeing the vast amount of poverty, coupled with a desire to do something effective about it, has let me to start a new project where I will be investing money directly into a community with the goal of long term benefits. Yes, I have already set up a site to work on this, and am just starting to look into what it would take to get it set up as a legal NPO in the USA. More about that later, because it isn’t ready yet.

Whew… Too long…

The people I met: Some Kiwis who I am going to teach how to climb in Vaing Veing.

Why I am ready to leave: Vaing Veing

sunset phu si
Sunset at the top of Phu Si

flower reflection
Flower reflection (there is a different shot of this on the photos page)