From the moment we set our minds on Xieng Khouang to the moment we set eyes on the landscape that is Xieng Khouang, the team felt a huge shift in the pace of this journey. We were shifting from high gear to low gear. “Good-bye”,Vientiane for now and “Hello” Xieng Khouang. After a night of final dinners in Vientiane on our own…our group set ready to leave with a lot of anticipation for the next phase of our trip. Xieng Khouang is place to be to come face to face with realities of war and remnants over 35 years ago. We loaded into two vehicles to the Wattay International Airport to board a 2:30pm flight which we had to wait for 3 hours (just to be safe as Lao Airlines flight schedules may change) that only took less than an hour. Nonetheless, waited with cheerful smiles, games and additional members, Vinya, to the group on this leg of the trip.
Once in Xieng Khouang it was like magic. We were in the Lao countryside…vast greenery everywhere. The air lighter and the weather cooler. We made our way to the Plain of Jars right away and took a hike in mud and wet walkways taking in the mysteries of these ancient fragments. Sheets of rain shrouds reaching from heaven to earth and storm clouds in the distance did not keep us from visiting these wonders of Laos. The sunset lead us out of the Plain of Jars and into a school full of Lao children who wanted to practice their English. We connected with Dori, Barbara and Manophet and had an amazing time in dialog with some 50 or so teenagers at this school and amongst our group we had over 14 conversations with curious minds all wanting to ask questions and share their lives communicating in English. We ended the night with a nice dinner at Sanga Restaurant celebrating Elaine’s big six-O birthday. One magical day from the town of Phonsavan, Xieng Khouang. Tomorrow we enter a village.