To Here

It’s hard to know where to start when it comes to sharing my thoughts on my trip to Laos; so many different things have been on my mind since arriving, I don’t know where to begin.

“This song is dedicated to all the happy people, to all the happy people who have real nice lives and have no idea what it’s like to be broke as f***”

Sitting on a bus – not a nice kind, but the kind you thought were supposed to have been retired in the late 60’s – we pulled out of the town where we had been staying and began driving into the countryside. After awhile on the road, we drove through our first real rural village in the Lao contryside. As we drove through the village, the above lyrics played as I looked at a group of children standing on a large dirt pile. They were filthy and stared at our bus with piercing eyes.

A little further up the road, I saw a small figure walking towards the bus. It was a small child, no older then 4 or 5 years old, walking by himself on the side of the road. He was wearing a large, oversized coat that nearly touched the ground as he walked.  When we drove by, I turned to look back and watch as he continued to walk, hands clasped behind his back in a pose more suitable for older men than a small boy. As we turned the corner, I stared across the cliff we drove alongside and realized, for the first time in my life, that I am rich. Rich in Laos – where my iPhone and watch are worth more than most people will make in several years.

If I wanted to continue feeling rich, I’d stay in Laos. However, I will be returning to the United States this upcoming weekend. Back in the United States, I’m just another statistic, striving for success and wealth, hoping to make something more of my life than an obituary.

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