9 May 2012
Hello Friends. Greetings from Luang Prabang in Laos. Have you missed me? I've missed you. Truly.
That said, it is just wonderful being on holidays with my very favourite people in the world.
We've been doing lots of things - trekking around the villages of Laos' minority peoples, the Hmong and the Khmu; talking textiles with Lao royalty; spending time with the keepers at a 'Moon' Bear rescue centre and playing hide and seek with their food - sort of like an Easter egg hunt for bears, really; swimming in waterfalls, cruising on riverboats; strolling around the markets; and eating like kings. Well sometimes like kings and sometimes like the local people. Street food is always the most tasty.
We've done lots and lots of exciting stuff so far, but we've also had plenty of time just hanging around being a family. We've had lots of swims, and done a heap of lazing by the pool. We've played Uno and read piles of books. About South East Asia mainly. But not entirely. That's the way with reading on holiday isn't it?
Sometimes in the rush of our 21st Century existence we forget about the important things. Like spending time together - eating, playing, working, talking. I love this photo because it reminds me that although we would regard this Hmong family as amongst the poorest of the poor, in many ways they are truly rich. You only have to look at them to know that they are a loving family, that they enjoy each other's company, and that they're happy. They may not have the comforts of life that we have, but they do have that very thing that we are all too ready to give away. They have quality time with the people that are the most important.
That's what we're doing on this holiday. We're loving spending time together. Sure, we may be having new experiences and learning new things - the world is Jemimah's classroom and she is learning so very much, but it is reminding ourselves of the things that are truly important that we are concentrating on.
Being a family together. And being happy.
And laughing. A lot.