Week 6 – Gappy and Snaggletooth

1st – 6th of October 2013

Our Lucas has been complaining of snuffles and a mild ear ache for a while now.  So day 37 sees him & mum at the local clinic.  Problem is that the clinic doc is at the hospital today.  The local pharmacist tells us of another larger Chinese clinic further away but then advises us to just take a tuk-tuk out of town to the LP Provincial hospital as there is an English speaking Thai doctor there.  Off we go.

The driver tells us to go into emergency and I feel a little guilty as we are pushed through the waiting patients to a desk.  After a short wait, Lucas is examined and I am happy to hear there is no infection just some sinus related pain.  The doctor is lovely and on a monthly rotation roster from Bangkok.  So now seems as good a time as any to have our final rabies shots.  I call Graham via Tango wifi and soon we are all lined up in the office.  The boys are braver third time around and with the hefty bill paid, we are soon happily out the door.

This week is spent exploring the details of Luang Prabang.  LP, for a while, is becoming our place.  When ever we go back to the guesthouse the boys say, “Lets go home”.  Faces and names are becoming familiar as are places and sois.  The laundry man waves and asks if we have any laundry, I find a new favourite street cook, (she makes small batches of food just outside her house and we sit at the one table sampling her creations as locals buy takeaway) and I start daily volunteer work for Ock Pop Tok.

Other highlights of this week include:

  • Swimming, petanque and Uno at La Pistoche pools.
  • Artisans Du Mekong, where the boys borrow a ball and play kick.
  • Visiting  local galleries.
  • Chill’in, Fuss ball and watching volleyball, at Utopia.
  • Traditional Arts and Ethnology centre.
  • Sitting by the Khan River nibbling street snacks and watching the LP rowing team practice for finals.  We were befriended there by a small boy and a local couple expecting their first child.
  • Exploring Xangkong weaving and Paper making village.
  • Views of Luang Prabang from Wat Phoi Phao.
  • Granola and yoghurt breakfast picnic, over looking the Mekong.
  • Cheering on co-workers and just watching the Luang Prabang Half Marathon.

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The biggest event of the week for the boys, is that Reuben and Lucas both lost a baby tooth.  Reuben his first ever and Lucas his 8th!  We promptly joke that they shall henceforth be called Gappy and Snagletooth.  They both awake to find a small wad of kip under their pillows:  luckily the tooth fairy gave them just enough for an icecream.  We take lots of photo’s of their gappy grins.

On Sunday – Day 42 – after cancelling our day trip due to a restless teary Felix night.  We have a sleep in and a long walk.  First, we have a long drink at Sawadee (the cheapest place for shakes), where Felix promptly falls asleep on a bench and we while away the heat of midday waiting for him to wake.  We visit the “Stay another Day” Exhibition, read old copies of national geographic and enjoy a pot of Bael orange tea at L’Etranger.  We then cross the old bridge via a wooden walkway attached to the steel frame, dine and linger at a local eatery on the other side (great tomato jeow), then continue on to one of the best pizzas of our lives.

Down a very long dark suburban street, turn right at the wat, down the side of a house – lit with a row of citronella pots and suddenly we find ourselves in a backyard restaurant.  Big candle lit tables set with white napkins with crisp black tablecloths, warm friendly service and a roaring pizza oven.  We order two spectacular pizzas along with a large bottle of beer.  Pricey yet priceless.

We stumble down steps to the dark Khan river and hitch a free canoe ride across – only a short stroll home to bed.  A fine end to week six.

Khalil Gibran, from The Prophet

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

 

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