Here now and now here or nowhere
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
One of the main reasons people go to Phongsali is to go trekking and see the variety of hilltribes and minorities up in that region. It is estimated that about 22 different ethnic minorities are living in the Phongsali province. Among them are Hmong, Khamu, Mien, Iko, Phunoi, Kheu, Lolo, Hanyi, Yao, Thai Khao, Thai Lu, Phuan and Phai. I originally went with the intention to go trekking around the area for a few days but then shortly realized that I don't really like trekking. Maybe I should define how I view "trekking." Hiking is one thing. I like going for hikes, but to me trekking is different. Trekking is something "white people" do. They go for walks around indigenous peoples lands and take photos and feel happy because part of their proceeds goes to these people. I could go more into it but it will only further provide reason for you to think I'm a snob. Needless to say, when I settled in Phongsaly I decided not to do any few days treks. Also I should add that most of these minorities are the same ones I would have seen last year in Xixuangbanna, China. I did however decide to go for a long walk on a somewhat carved out path. This was the trail to go to Ban Khounloumluang. I chose this one was I had been told that Phongsali Lao Lao (spirited alcohol) is the best in the country and I wanted to visit one of the towns famous for making it.
So off I went and I'm glad I did. The countryside there is far from touched and very beautiful. I ended up in Ban Khounloumluang around lunch time and was rather hungry. I asked for a spot to eat in town (town being too big of a term here. really more of a small, small village). After a little hesitation I was pointed into a door which I assumed was a restaurant of sorts, but actually was a house and a Basi was going on, or in English terms, a celebration. I ended up spending a few hours talking, eating, dancing, and drinking with the villagers. I had to leave before it got dark and I wouldn't be able to get home ok, but by this time I was somewhat inebriated. I thanked them full heartily, left some money for the celebration and stumbled home all giggly like.
I still don't love the idea of trekking but I did have a good day of hiking. There is a difference, I promise. :)
PS Those yellow flowers so prevalent in these photos... those are poppies. This region used to be huge for opium growing. Perhaps you've heard of the golden triangle?
Monday, December 26, 2011
OK, it's pretty easy and this is all you need to do. click the link below, leave a comment, click the "like" on facebook button and if you're on twitter.. tweet about it. one or all 3 are good and the more the merrier. Basically the deal is this, the person with the most feedback wins. and they win a free yoga scholarship (around $3,000usd)
So with your help I can win this and I'd really like to as nearly two years of backpacking across Asia have not done wonders for my bank account. So click the links, comment and do it everyday! It really takes no time and has no negative fallout. Many thanks, ahead of time!!!
Thursday, December 22, 2011
dislike receiving mass emails and the like, so it is with that in mind
that I am sending one out with hope that you'll read it, act upon it
and not to be too upset with me for sending one out.
For those unaware of my situation, I've been backpacking through Asia
for the last 21 months. The last 7 of which have found me in Luang
Prabang, Laos where I've been doing a little computer work as well as
teaching yoga to cover my living costs. A better update could be
found on my blog here http://herenow-nowhere.blogspot.com/ but that
isn't why I am writing you all.
In April I am planning on taking another yoga teacher training course
and this is where I am asking for your help. I found an online
scholarship program where the winner will receive tuition covered in
full. The way to win is by having the most votes by the end of the day
Dec 31st. Votes are counted in 3 ways and all done from the same
page. Comments left on the page, Facebook likes clicked on from the
page and tweets left from the page all will go to the final tally.
The contest ends in less than 10 days and I'm getting my butt kicked
hard. But I think with all of your help (especially if you forward
this on to your friends) I can win this. You can leave new comments
each day as well as from different email accounts. Your emails are
private and you won't be signed up for spam, they are just used as an
I would appreciate it greatly if you could take a minute out of your
day, today and each day until the end of the year and leave a comment
and or tweet. Facebook likes can only be done once but the comments
and tweets can be done each day.
Again, I am apologetic for the mass email, but do hope you can look
past that and help a friend in need out.
many thanks and a whole lot of love
Thursday, December 1, 2011
While I am gone I will have limited if any access to internet so please vote for me at this website.
Comments, tweets and likes via the portion just below my essay are welcomed and encouraged.
Many thanks and be back to you interweb people when I come back.
Monday, November 28, 2011
Having been in town for a while and planning to stay a little longer I've decided I'd like a pair of jeans. It's not great to longterm travel with jeans as they are heavy and don't dry quickly but at the moment I'm not traveling. So why not get some jeans? Well... to start off with I'm loads taller than almost everyone in this country, ex-pats included. So finding jeans in my length is near impossible. Scratch that.. it is impossible.
Last weekend a guy I know in town drunkenly asked me, "how come you never wear jeans?" I had to explain to him what I just explained above, but it left me wanting a pair of jeans more. The comfort as well as protection (especially when riding off roads on my motorbike.). There was a sense of longing with a knowledge that there was nothing I could do. And I was ok with it as it's just how it goes.
Flash forward to last Sunday night. I was having dinner with friends of one of my bestfriends from college, Corey. I was explaining how it is nice living here but we can't get so many things, jeans being one of them. Matt asked, "What size are you?" Turns out that we're about the same size. Him and his wife were heading up to a ziplining treehouse place north of here, so he'd need them for that but when done he could leave them in Vientiane for me. WHAT? really??? jackpot. They were nearing the end of their honeymoon travels and could get more jeans when home. but me? I was at a loss. Humanity at it's finest (well, maybe not the finest but damn great).
I've posted a bunch about how the universe is in tune with our needs and us asking for what we want and receiving it. It happens again and again and I couldn't be more pleased. Even when it doesn't happen it works out great. Like the Rolling Stones said, "You can't always get what you want but if you try sometimes you might find you get what you need." Well, not sure if I need them but I do want some jeans and so with Thanksgiving having just passed I should add that I am thankful for this (and so much more.)