A Farewell To RSO

One month ago we arrived in India not knowing what to expect. We would be volunteering at a children’s home, an experience very few people we know had embarked on. Our three and a half weeks at RSO have shown us a little of what we had expected and a lot of what we hadn’t.…

When A Musical Is All There Is…

It probably wasn’t the movie itself, but the atmosphere and the experience.One night at the volunteer home Raja (a boy who recently graduated high school and lives at the home) invited us to go see a Tamil movie with him and some women from the home…. On the way Raja explained that the most popular Tamil ‘hero’ (Indians use this term instead of actor) would be starring in the movie we would see and that his movies generally stay in theaters for over a year, that’s right a year…. After the song the movies story was played out before our eyes, but we could hardly understand anything and had to simply guess with little hints from the few english words thrown in here and there…. Changes gangs about three times, kills the largest gang leader in India (also the most popular villian actor in India, hence the loads of cheers) and turns out to be an undercover cop.

Can you ride that tube?

Yesterday the fam and I had the opportunity to do one of the most popular backpacker attractions in Lao, tubing down the lazy — river. It was my mom’s idea to come to Lao in the first place and while some of us wanted to remain in Thailand we thought it would be nice to indulge her and head across the border…. Our first day in Vien Bien we found our hotel, walked around, viewed some local scenery (the amazing mountains), and had a not so pleasant dinner. We went to sleep looking forward for the next day and tubing.We woke up at nine and made our way to the city center and the tubing station.

Long Live The King

Coming out of China and Vietnam where all the bills have pictures of Mao and Ho Chi Minh, I just thought he was another past dictator…. In movie theaters before every movie there is a brief film that plays during which you MUST stand up, pay your respects to His Majesty, and watch images from the 70s of the king working to benefit Thailand…. Twice a day a call goes out over loudspeakers and all people must stand at attention while a tribute to the king plays…. He has won the respect of all his people, but all I can say is I don’t want to have to stand up at another movie theatre and I don’t want to have to listen to any more tributes.

Gettin’ Our Kicks on Route 6

After our little stay in Siem Reap we had decided to do as most travelers in the area and head out to Bangkok via busses or taxis…. After meeting some friends that we met in China we found out that there was a bus heading out at 7:30 the next morning, we didn’t really know if we could trust this bus (which we later found was a ‘mini’ bus that traveled in a squad with other mini busses) so we didn’t know if we should or shouldn’t take it…. Each gave us a different price for the same bus and taxi company, it seems no matter where in south east Asia you are people are just going to want to rip you off. We looked around for a little while longer and ran into some more people we had met previously, they were having trouble finding a hotel in Chang Mai for christmas, maybe a sign for the future…

The Rolling Sauna

Here we could view parts of the Ho Chi Minh trail, go underground and see the tunnels where an average Vietnamese citizen would have lived during the turbulent times, to the river that separated the two countries, and an old battlefield. It seemed like it would be an interesting opportunity to view some parts of the country that had once been a war-zone and a good chance to catch up on some Vietnamese history…. I entered into a brief sleep with the aid of my iPod but this didn’t last long. We stopped at a bridge with a small monument to the Ho Chi Minh Trail, I won’t write too much about the following since my mom already covered it in her post…. The man gave Kieran and Asher their sticks back, which of course they couldn’t take on the bus, that of course initiated a fight between them and our parents.