15 July 2010
Day 8 – Vang Veng to Vientiane
Most of us did not have a good night sleep last night and all we wanted to do was to leave the guesthouse, have breakfast and then drive back to Vientiane for one day to catch up with the Makphet team and to organize everything from this trip and organize everything for the trip south on Saturday morning.
We did stop for breakfast in Vang Vieng and had these very tasty fresh mushroom and pork spring rolls topped with crispy shallots and pork pate julienne, served with a very tasty sweet and spicy sauce and a lime wedge on the side. The way to eat it is to pour the sauce over the spring rolls and drizzle some lime juice on top of it. It is actually an ethnic Vietnamese dish and that with a strong cup of coffee will make anybody feel better.
Bouavone, our reintegration team leader, informed us that there is an organic mulberry farm a little outside of town so we stopped by there and it was really interesting. Besides them also raising goats that are flown in from France (Ghislain instantly loved them as you can see) they even sold homemade goats cheese.
We had a guide showing us around and explaining all the different fruits and veggies growing there.
Half way through, it started to rain but that was no issue since we just broke off some leaves and used them as umbrellas.
We then stopped at the restaurant and ordered some fruit shakes. The mulberry shake was excellent and Ghislain’s Avocado shake was not to my taste but he loved it.
We then finally went on our way and arrived back in Vientiane in the late afternoon – totally exhausted.
We had to say good-bye to our student Yoorlao since she was only joining us for the trip north. It was nice to get to know her more and see how everything really was of interest to her. I was also impressed that she took notes about everything and asked many questions, which is the most important thing if you want to learn. She was really hands-on and we could see her special connection she has with the Hmong people. I asked her to write a story about her trip so we can hear her side not only always from me and I will put it on the blog later on this week once we receive it from her.
I feel very privileged to have been able to spend all this time with our student Yoorlao, our cooking teacher Madame Vone and of course with Ket our mother, advisor and entertainer on this trip. Mother Ket she is now known as.
I can’t wait to start the second part on Saturday morning by starting a 700km drive to Champasak.
The same team will go with us except that we’ll be joined by two different students from Makphet. The students decided who will join us by voting for who they think should go (with the supervision of the teacher of course).
Tomorrow we will be meeting with the Makphet students showing them pictures, telling them stories and selecting the dishes and recipes we collected on the trip north.