tues day 109


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Asia » Laos » North » Muang Ngoi Neua
May 12th 2015
Published: May 12th 2015
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After getting a better nights sleep than what I expected on a tired old mattress I headed over to meet the others for breakfast. Being presented with a nice cup of tea and a nutella pancake it was a good start to the day. Sitting with Samsonouk ( the name of the homestay as well as being run by Samsonouk and her son ) while she knitted a new fishing net out of plastic strands from an old sack we sat and all had a go. Very fiddily and very difficult, we never really got the hang of it so before tieing it in too many knotts we handed it back to the expert. While sitting and discussing the day ahead Hayley, Angela and myself were offered the chance to go and see a snake. Samsonouks son had been up in the jungle and seen a 3 metre long snake caught in the trap which he had killed that morning and was excited at the thought that the family and some villagers could eat it for dinner. So as we were heading off into the jungle ( all excited that we were gonna see a snake being gutted) we bumped into the Samsonouks husband who basically said it would be a worthless journey as the snake would by now be inedible! Feeling a little disappointed while sitting picking leeches off from between our toes after just walking through a small river we were offered other activities to do. Sitting under a shade for a few minutes the man then took us walking through a rice field to a large pond where he pulled out what looked like river weed - he explained that this was edible so we put it in a bag and walked past some water buffalo to the next spot. He proceeded to cut down some bamboo stalks and we walked back to the pond to strengthen the fence from the water buffalo as the pond is full of fish that the locals eat. Heading on back down towards the village we passed a honey tree, tobacco plants and a mango tree which we had a go at picking with a very long stick! After 4 mangos had dropped to the ground we scooped them up and put them in the bag also. Once back at the village we sat and had a quick drink before helping the women to make lunch. A mixture of chillies, under ripe mango and what looked like olive oil were blended together in a big bowl which we all sat round and ate with the large leaves from the fields. It was absolutely delicious and so clever how the locals become so inventive with their surroundings. After lunch I decided to go for a walk around the village to take some photos, seeing families showering in open showers amongst the animals and carrying on their everyday lives was lovely to see.Making myself inconspicuous I managed to get some nice photos so I was pleased. Heading back to the homestay I sat again with Samsonouk and her grandchildren while she did some weaving and continued to knit the fishing net. Before we decided to say our goodbyes and head back to Muang Ngoi Hayley, Angela and I shared a pancake and got some photos with the family. The village is very small with approx 240 people living in it which is from 43 families. It has 2 homestays with a small smattering of visitors, as we were leaving a French couple were arriving. As part of our stay we were given homework to do in the form of writing up business cards for the homestays to give to people. It really felt such a pleasure to be able to stay with Samsonouk and her family. There was no obligation for them to show us their lives, but they were so friendly and so happy to include us I really felt very flattered. We were very lucky to have had such an experience. Saying our goodbyes we headed off towards the rice fields in the direction of Muang Ngoi. Crossing a couple of rivers and coming to the road in a blistering heat we saw a group of young boys fishing. Holding homemade spears and wearing snorkels and each carrying a bag of fish they were happy to pose for photos before running off giggling. Walking past the cave that we had visited the other day and heading on for another 30 minutes, with lorries driving past us and coughing up a blinding plume of dust we made it back. With Hayley and I getting our room back we picked up our large bags from reception and rested for a bit. Grabbing a shower we then headed down to the restaurant for some dinner where I bumped into a friend I had made in Luang prabang. Catching up and chatting about our experiences we had a lovely evening relaxing while looking out over the Nam ou river.

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