December 26, 2001

The giant in Lao PDR

One crisp December noon, I was at a temple in Luang Prabang writing some things. It was quiet and peaceful. I fell asleep. I heard some voices. I opened my eyes to see some kids bent over me. As I sat up, they moved back and stared at me in wonder. It was like Gulliver’s travels - all those little people half-scared and half-curious.

I turned to the last page in my notebook, and from my Laotian phrase book, I copied hello” in Laotian script. I passed the notebook to the kid nearest to me. She took it, and read it aloud. All the kids giggled. She borrowed my pen and wrote something in Laotian. I guessed it was her name. I passed the notebook and the pen to the littlest kid. All of them laughed as she was too young to write. An older kid grabbed the notebook and wrote the littlest kid’s name.

So we conversed, they would draw something, say it aloud in Laotian and and ask me to repeat it. I learnt many new Laotian words. Lately, I seem to be forgetting the words. It is time to go back.

Smiles in Lao

Smiles in Lao

Smiles in Lao


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