Luang Prabang, Laos
2 June 2004
The full moon is out in all its splendor and glory.
And it is night, late night -past my bedtime- in Lao -- Luang Prabang. I am liking Laos more and more, the land -fauna & flora-
and the people. Many places I have been, I have appreciated the landscape or
the people but rarely are both in sync with my sensibilities (I am the
quintessential difficult contrarian), which are not easily without opinion. Especially on this trip.
To be even more frank, only in Nepal and Pai, and now here,
have I felt totally comfortable. I found India as well as Thailand to be
racist; South Africa needs to grow out of their criminal mindedness, and Paris
needs to get over itself.
Maybe it is just now that I am certain I am a jungle and
(maybe) mountain person – for sure…I don’t know.
I do know right now I am sitting in a courtyard of sorts
outside of my $2 a night guest house accommodations – at peace with many
things, especially things in my own immediate world. And the focus is becoming more sharp everyday as to what my future is intended to be,
This is one of the reasons I will be venturing to the
organic farm outside of Vang Vieng
to spend some time there doing a bit of farming. As much as maybe 4 hours a day
for about 12 days will allow.
My course is leading me to studying farming/gardening
/self-sustaining practices so I can be an example to others who wish for the
All this may come to naught, as the Mayan calendar runs out
as the end of 2012…
But persevere we must as life unfolds before us, and the
peace I feel under this full moon night lights part of the world with a peace I
would on as many as possible. It is also a peace I know many wish not for
themselves or even their loved ones. I know this to be true because I do not
fathom how anyone after seeing the brilliance of this peaceful moon and knowing
it is consistently appearing as it does for 13 times a year…
Why can’t that consistent brilliant peacefulness, as
exemplified by the moon, be possible?
I’ve come to a point where I do not want to, or care to know
why peace is not possible among others. I only know peace and this intent to
not separate myself from others, is the road I am committed to be on for quite
a long time; perhaps to the end of my days and moonlit nights.
Tonight I am not doing my (internal muscle work) exercise
routine. I will rise early tomorrow and go to the bus station to find out what
is what with bus transportation to Vang Vieng.
It is a simple life I live right now. One of merely putting
one foot in front of the other… Of trusting what the Universe has put on the
path I step, is correct and proper for this age and this reality. There are
many questions I have about why I am in this position (on this journey), as few
others of North American stripe, or African American stripe, seek to venture.
Actually, to be truthful, I am no longer
wanting to have this question on my mind. I only embrace the fact that I
am different and I want to make a difference in the rest of the time I have on
4 June 2004
At the Naluang express bus
station, right outside the south end of Luang Prabang. It is a Friday morning. I know it is Friday; not
because keep track of the days on a calendar -which I do not- but because,
Loretta of Auroville has me on a homeopathic regime,
which has me taking certain remedies on certain days. I won’t get to see just
how effective (maybe?) these medicines are (I have been taking the remedies
since April) until I can get back to South Africa, where I will be living for
some time - at least the next 9 years. Fact is, I want
to be based out of Cape Town and develop a farm and farming concept for the
foreseeable future. The concept involves a self-sustaining organic farming
situation where artists and activists could spend upwards of 3 months or so
working the farm while doing their art. It would also be a short term retreat
and mini conference situation for activist organizations and start-ups. We
would have communications entities, such as world-wide web access, video
conferencing, and satellite communications. We would discourage television and,
in fact, not have one hooked up through the regular infrastructure. We would
encourage discussions, readings, “happenings” and performance.
5 June 2004 – Saturday
As usual with journeys, things are not turning out as
planned, or according to budget.
The organic farm has changed policy from a person working
the farm for four hours in exchange for food and a dorm bed for a dollar a
night –to- nine dollars a day for learning about organic farming and having
three meals a day. This is way out of my budget range. And since I am in Laos I
can’t get money sent to me here. The country is not set up for credit or atm (debit) cards or money wires. This means only travelers
interested in the country will trek through – which is a good, very good thing.
As is said: Hindsight is everything.
Had I know this – perhaps by calling from Luang Prabang, and asking if the policy written in the 2002
edition of the Lonely Planet guide was still in effect – I would stayed in Luang Prabang. As it is now, I
think I will stay here in Vang Vieng
for today and leave in the morning for Vientiane, and cross back over to
Thailand maybe on Tuesday or Wednesday – after trying to get a 60 day Thailand
visa – go to Bangkok and get the South African visa situation straight and then
head back up to Pai for continued healing. I want to do the rest of my Thailand
travel by train. If I can’t get a 60 day visa I will take the 30 day one, go to
Pai and do a “visa run” into Myanmar. But I would really want to stay in Pai to
continue with my external healing exercises…do some flushes – gall bladder,
intestinal, blood…and read, read, read.
Also in Pai they do organic farming at Moon Village; perhaps
I could hang out there to learn a few things. The guest house I want to stay at
is down the road from them, plus there is a restaurant in town called Ginger’s,
which sells organic dishes and the owner loves to cook. She will probably even
give classes if enough interested travelers are around at the same time.
So, today I want to take a photo of the sun setting behind
the mountains surrounding us. I’m even thinking about “tubing” down the river –
nice leisurely way to spend an hour or two. Let’s see if these
current plans gels out.