It was a short work week, because Friday was a national holiday in Laos to celebrate the founding of Laos Women’s Union. In celebration of women in Laos my week was filled with creating a consolidated budget for ADWLE! One of the things I’m enjoying about my time with the ADWLE team is lunch at the office. We have lunch together and everyone contributes an item. I haven’t been contributing, because I’ve no idea what to buy and I find the market very intimidating. At lunch I’m trying foods I would never order on my own. On Tuesday, Mrs. Inthana, ADWLE’s director arranged with Anna, a hot pot for lunch. Anna brought in a pot and went to the morning market to get the ingredients. It was delicious.
Last weekend I was in Luang Prabang in the central part of Laos. It is the ancient royal capital of Laos where the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers converge. Luang Prabang is a small city surrounded by green. There is lots to see and do. The royal palace is now a museum that I didn’t manage to visit even though I stayed next door to it. Instead of sight-seeing I had signed up for a 2 day natural dyeing and weaving course at Ock Pop Tok Living Arts Center.
I made natural light purple dye from dried teak leaves and blue from indigo leaves. Most of my time learning to weaving a scarf. It turned out well and includes lots of help from my instructor. I enjoyed the weaving, but mostly I enjoyed my view of the Mekong river. I was tired by the end of each day and missed out on much of the wonderful sights in Luang Prabang.
I did enjoy wondering through the night market with its mix of hand crafts and mass produced items i.e. the elephant pants, shorts and shirts. There are a number of beautiful shops in Luang Prabang that sell locally and traditionally made goods. I did keep my shopping to a minimum.
This week-end I’m heading south to Pakse and a trip to Wat Phou, the Tad Fan waterfall and a coffee plantations!