In order to go any further in this story I should introduce someone to you, as well as introduce a common theme in SE Asia. The theme is of running into people you know from a previous time or of finding some weird connection you have to someone/something else. Enter Rachel, Rachel and I met in Vietnam about 5 weeks ago at the guesthouse I was staying at. Long story short, we grew up in neighboring towns, she went to high school with a cousin of mine and my uncle was her dentist. It's a small world. Anyways, flash-forward 5 weeks with no communication and then BAM!!! meet on the street in Luang Prabang.
We decided to hang out the next day and cruise across the river to Chompet. We rented bikes and drove around the area. I wanted to go to find a sugarcane farm (ran out of time) and she wanted to see some temples (there are a bunch lining the Mekong, though tourists frequent them less than on the LP side).
Near the end of the day we stumpled into a village and found a bunch of kids to play with. Rachel, the great biker, started taxi'ing 2-3 kids at a time up and down the road on her bike. Eventually they all started saying "pen, pen, pen" Rachel asked me what pen meant in Lao and I informed her "it means pen, they want you to buy them pens." She cruised over to the local store and bought all the children pens. Very sweet of her. I didn't buy them anything but did pick a few kids up and swung them all around and upside down. We all have our own way to effect the youth. :)
It was a nice day, but boy were my legs sore the next day from riding as it'd been a while and also I was a bit too big for their bike sizes.