Sunday, September 27, 2009

Update From Laos 9/28/09

Hello to all,

I apologize for not updating my blog in a while, are you still out there? Anyway, we are in Laos right now. We left Bangkok on 9/20/09 for a visa run. We took a night bus and ended up in Pakse, Laos (southern) the next day. I feel rich because $1 will buy 8,400 Kip (Laos Currency). We stayed the first night in the Sabaidy 2 Guesthouse, it was decent except for the hammering and construction right under us at 8:00 in the morning, we also found out that we were being a little overcharged for what it was. The next night we stayed in the Royal Pakse Hotel, which was decent, we paid about $4 a night each (they gave us a good deal). We had A/C and our own bathroom with a hot shower, that was nice since it is a little cooler here in Laos. We stayed there for 3 nights.

The second day we took a trip to see some waterfalls, a tea and coffee plantation and an ethnic village, it was pretty fun except...Jonathan got some rash from climbing around in the jungle...we all wanted to see the waterfalls better, and I think we all got a little bit of the rash, but Jonathan got it bad, haha. At the next village the driver got some lime and powder so we put it on him...he is doing much better now.

We then took a 2 day trip to Champasak, the home of Wat (Temple) Phu. We stayed at a pretty nice guest house on the river for about $3/night each. We had to cross the Mekong river to get there and the boat was a little scary, I wasn't sure if we would make it all the way across the river. Champasak was very nice and relaxing, very quiet compared to Pakse and especially compared to Bangkok. Wat Phu is a pretty cool temple complex, we spent about 2 hours there. When we left, we took a ferry boat that carried vans and cars...I thought that might sink as well...but it held up pretty well, haha. I have lots of pictures, I will post some when I get back to Bangkok, we left our computers there.

We are now back in Pakse and are staying in a different place, Sedon River Guesthouse. It is a pretty good price and includes a hot shower and A/C.

Oh, and I almost forgot to say that on our way to Champasak, we paid (1/2 the trip cost) a guy to set us up to go. About 2 kilometers into the trip the driver stops because he is supposed to pick up other people and take them farther...long story short, we ended up getting out and taking a different van, much nicer for less. Now we need to find the guy we paid to get our Kip back!

Hope you all enjoy reading the update, I will post pictures when I return to Bangkok.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

Video Blog 3

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Monday, September 7, 2009

Bridge building in the slums

Nolan, Jonathan and I helped YWAM build a bridge in the poor slum area. The community is built about a foot above water on a wet-land type of area. We built this bridge because there are a few women who host a bible study back here and people were having a hard time getting there. When we got there, the old bridge was almost deteriorated, it was made of wood and parts of it were in the water, it was way past due to be fixed. Can you imagine trying to step very carefully over trash ridden (probably disease infested) swamp water everytime you come and go from your home? I didn't get a before picture (it was raining almost the whole time), but got these pictures of the finished product.

We began by destroying the old wood parts and taking 3-4 foot cylinders and pounding them into the swamp water for a base. We then cemented a short 2x1 foot piece of concrete onto two of these cylinders. we then proceeded to lay down large slabs of concrete (which you can see, they are about 1.5'x7') on top of the base. They were super heavy and it was a tricky job...but it ended in success, we were really glad to had the opportunity to help. Nolan and Jonathan were the slamming masters (they took the slammer and pounded most of the concrete cylinders into the swamp).

This is a closeup of the bridge

This was the cutest little girl. She is enjoying the new bridge, afterward she and all the other kids wanted us to throw them in the natually, we did.

Finished Bridge

Another photo from the coffee roaster.

Posted by Picasa

Specialty Coffee Roaster in Bangkok

We visited a specialty coffee roaster in Bangkok, it was pretty cool, but on a very small scale. Specialty coffee is kind of a developing market in Thailand right now. They use mostly Thai coffee as it is very expensive to import coffee (90% duty tax). We also went back two days later to cup coffee's from around the world. It was nice to find people who are passionate about coffee in other places in the world.

For more pics, visit Jonathan's blog

This is Zan, he owns the coffee roaster.

Roasting Coffee
Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 4, 2009

Teaching English in a Southern School

Nolan is taking on the whole class
Posted by Picasa

Fishing Village in the South




Posted by Picasa

Bee Hive we destroyed and bee that stung me

The Bee that stung me...Dead, what he deserves.

Hot springs in the South

Posted by Picasa

The southern beach and hike




Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Trip to the South Continued.

Posted by Picasa

Food at the local Market

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Temples and swimming

This is a huge Buddha in a cave temple.

Shawn and I under a small waterfall, the water was soooooo warm. Bik thought it was cold, eh eh.

Me, Bik, Shawn, Nolan and Jonathan.

All of us posing on a tree by the rope swing that Nolan broke

Posted by Picasa


This is the monkey that lost it's footing and fell into the water, it was really funny.


Nolan filming the monkeys in the cave with Jonathan, Bik and Shawn in the background.


Monkey and her baby...she is dreaming of bananas.


A monkey jumping up to grab a banana out of my hand.


Posted by Picasa