New Experiences (day 2)
Our first activity day in Laos was full of events and excitement. We started off the day with a visit to an elephant sanctuary, where we were able to get up close and personal with elephants by feeding, training and riding them. For a lot of us, it was a very surreal experience since we don’t really get the chance to interact with elephants. This was also an opportunity to learn about the dangers these animals face against poachers and destruction of their habitats. Next, we hopped onto the back of an open truck which drove us 2 hours away from Luang Prabang to a small village where we will be spending the next 3 nights. The 2-hour ride passed by in a blink of an eye. We were able to witness the natural beauty of Laos as we drove along the Mekong River, with luscious greenery all around us.
When we arrived at the village, the villagers greeted us with a warm welcome along with big smiles and we each received a boquet of flowers. We were able to meet the families we were staying with as well as walk around the village. Walking around the village really showed us how privileged we are. We realised that this is their norm, and it was a reality check for us all that we should be grateful for what we have. For those who showered, the experience was one that we could never forget, with nothing more than a tub of water and bucket to wash ourselves with. Most of us either ended up having to shower as a group of people or not shower at all.
During dinner, we got a taste of a Laotian dinner and were able to perform both a song and a dance to the people living in the village as a way to socialise with the locals by inviting them to join us. They also performed multiple cultural dances and encouraged us to take part with them. It was interesting to see the dances and the outfits as it allowed us get a glimpse into their culture. Overall, we are all very satisfied with today’s activities and are looking forward to what comes our way tomorrow. Let’s hope no scorpions crawl into our shoes tonight .
Bloggers: Danielle Tsang and Julia Chia