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, by me.

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 same.

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 this planet.


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.