Village Visit--Ban Lang Lao



At the next school, Lang Lao, we arrive at recess time




and we're ushered into what I thought was the teacher's meeting room

We chat merrily with the director

I asked him about the effects of the war on his village.  He replied that the American bombing did not have much effect on this area


Moving outside, we present him with books and materials



and he adjourns to the real teachers meeting--outside, around a fire, trying to keep warm on this cool dreary day



while I move into the playground, surrounded by dozens of eager kids




I love relating to them







so alive, so vibrant



we again stroll the village


I ask this family if they have a happy life

Yes, they're proud of their family; they're poor but they love their village



and this family


"Yes, we have a happy life, but some years--when crops are bad--we go a bit hungry"


Although a communist country, there is apparently very little social safety net here 




They're happy with the community feeling of their village, and with being close to nature




This is a Hmong village, whereas the first two villages are Lao

The Hmong are an Asian ethnic group from the mountainous regions of China, Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand

According to Wikipedia, some Hmong fought against the Pathet Lao during the Laotian Civil War, and were singled out for retribution when the Pathet Lao took over the Laotian government in 1975





We get out of the rain, and huddle by the fire




with jovial companions

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