They don't really maintain the trails, and it's rainy season, so we hike through a bog.
a bamboo bridge across a river that's collapsed. At this point, we all take our shoes off and basically swim.
Please note that Al is not wet from the river, he is wet from the sweltering heat.
Rainy season in Laos means 90 degree temps and 120% humidity.
we would also learn later that the Khmu are wealthier than the Hmong, and you can easily tell by this village.
Back on the trail. Look at those legs!
Does that adequately explain my dazed look here?
or is it the heat?
We were all really wanting a shower when we got up to the village. Our guides said it was just a 20 minute hike back down to a river, so we took no showers that day.
This is the house. They cook and sleep in one room, and everything else happens outside.
Children followed Chip around like he was the pied piper. He led them into a schoolhouse, and taught them Hmong primary songs. I had a vision of chip living up here, having the time of his life. Come to think of it, some of the older people offered their daughters for him to marry, so he could move up here pretty easily.
The kids all just hang out all day long while their parents work in the fields. It's kinda crazy, actually.
these pictures are a little misleading b/c it looks like we could see our food. nope.
this was the bed that Kimberly and I slept on. It bowed in the middle and on the sides, so it was like sleeping on a stiff bamboo hammock. we didn't sleep much. But we really can't complain: Chip and Alex were covered in ants the whole night.
In the morning our guides made us breakfast. We were outside the hut eating and one shouted out: "Do you want us to kill a chicken?"
Without hesitation Kimberly responded:
Hiking back down.
a little rest stop on the trip back down. we're waiting for our boat to come
back across the river.
and to reward ourselves for our hard work living with the Hmong for one day, we went to a waterfall.
And that's the story of Hmong heaven.