Sunshine, rivers, mountains, palm trees, elephants, waterfalls... What more could you possibly ask for?!
The thing about Laos though is just when you thought the country could not be any more beautiful you begin talking to the people. The people of Lao are the most generous, hospitable, and kind people I have ever met. The are often shy especially around foreigners, but smile at them and they won't be able to keep from smiling back.
A few weeks ago some friends and I had the opportunity to spend a day with a very special family here in Laos. In downtown LP there is a line of fruit/sandwich stands and over the past several months we have befriended a family behind one of these stands. They work all day long, every day of the week. Rarely do they take a break. But despite the exhaustion they without a doubt must be feeling they are always smiley and happy to see us. For a while now we have wanted to invite them over for dinner, but because they are always working we never could find a good time for them to come and eat with us. But we didn't give up. Since they couldn't come to us we brought dinner to them.
The family still had to work that night but in between making sandwiches and blending fruit shakes, we talked and giggled. And by the end of the night we were making plans to visit Hua's family out in her village. So Saturday morning they Hua's sister filled in for her and we were off to meet Hua' parents and other siblings. Her mother was just as kind and generous as Hua and cooked us a delicious Lao lunch. After walking around the village, gawking at the gorgeous views, and stuffing ourselves chicken and rice we headed home but not without a bag full of papayas. (Another thing Hua must get from her mother. We can never leave her stand without arm fulls of fruit.)
Hua (far right) and her beautiful family
Not only were we given bags of fruit but at one point we were offered a puppy
One final laughable picture of the giant falangs and the family