I’m currently on the G-Adventures Indochina discovery tour which has taken me around Cambodia, Vietnam, Lao and parts of Thailand. As apart of the tour, last night we stayed with a Laos tribal community where we got to see first had how they live their day to day lives. For me this has been one of the most eye opening experiences whilst being on my travels.
This remarkable group of people live purely off the land with little to none electricity, they live without things that we consider as necessities.
We learnt about the traditions within the tribe to do with marriage, which involves being chased through the woods and a rooster being swung around people’s heads (as crazy as it sounds it was all really very interesting to hear about!). Our guide used to live in the tribe that we visited which was really useful as he could explain everything in such detail and was great when it came to answering questions about the tribe. He told us about how the schooling system works in the village and they do provide education for the children, but the parents have to pay for it.
The children were definitely the best part about the whole homestay. They were all so excited to meet us and the little girls even picked us flowers and handed them out to people in our group. We played games like Duck Duck Goose with the kids which brought back childhood memories for all of us! As a thank you to the families for letting us stay with them in their houses, we all bought the children some toys for them to play with. It really does make you realise home much we take for granted when you see children getting so excited and thankful over some pens and building blocks.
As the evening went on we sat down for dinner and we’re served up an absolute feast! Then once it was dark outside we gave out glow sticks to the children which provided entertainment for us all. Who knew that glow stick games could actually be so fun when you’re almost 20?
Nearly coming to the end of my first travelling adventure, experiences such as last night really do make me realise how lucky I am, and how much I take for granted on a day to day basis. Running water or even a flushing toilet is considered a luxury to some, where as it is definitely a necessity in our society. If I’ve learnt anything from travelling, it’s that when I get home I feel like I will be far more appreciative of the things and people around me. My night with the tribe, and the memories of how grateful the children were will definitely stay with me.