On our first day of the long-boat ride to Luang Prabang we found ourselves with comfy seats at the top of the boat. Not wanting to sit in the sardine like configuration on the lower level. The best spot is the front of the boat, with more room to move, better view, boys with long legs can extend, no petrol fumes or the heat from the engine.
ABOVE: the longboats in line along the shore
People live on their boats, it’s there home and lively hood. The second day on our boat journey was much more adventurous. We arrived super early as we knew we had the best seats, and wanted them again. While we waited we watched the women and men around us passing food, chairs, pillows through the long boats. Talking, as if they were catching up on gossip. People are still and slow on the river, time does not move fast. When it is time to go, on-time or not, it is time to go.
ABOVE: Laundry day
BELOW: Men fishing on their boat
ABOVE: Local children getting ready to come aboard the boat to sell us drinks and snacks.
BELOW: A young man pushing the boat away from the shore.
After stopping and dropping off supplies to the village, we were on our way again, not to long and another village called us over to pick up some people. It was an emergency! An elderly man was carried on board and draped at the front of the boat, with blood pouring out of his chest. ‘Are there any doctors on board?’ we yelled down the back of the boat. A Spanish lady and an Italian man gathered some of their belongings and raided the boats first aid kit. They set up to help the man injured. With a language barrier a third person needed to translate between the doctors and the elderly man and family. With a few other people raiding their own personal first aid kits, they were able to stitch up one of his wounds. The next three and a half hours were long, with me queasy in the stomach, unable to look at the blood, worried about the man’s life. Though the doctors were working frantically around him, looking like they knew what they were doing.
It made me think about what I have to offer the world. These two people were on this boat, and saved a mans life, with their hands! They visited the man in hospital after he had surgery in Luang Prabang, he lives. A wild pig torn open his chest and arm and he can live to tell the tale, thanks to the westerners on the backpacker trail with medical kits and doctors on board.
Have you had any experiences that just make you think, how you can help the world?
ABOVE: Look at us with our comfortable seats, while behind us are rows of chairs so close together. Where I am standing for this photos is where the operation room was set up.
BELOW: The rain eating up the hillside.