Motorbikes, Mommyhood, and Manao! / by Joshua P Jacks

Lao Language class is well underway!  I do believe that our teachers leave our class sometimes wondering what language I am speaking!  It helps to make sure I can laugh at myself and my mistakes.  We are spending 3 hours a day Monday – Thursday with two different teachers learning Lao.  Basics are being covered and we are now able to ask how much something is, count, say hello, ask “what is your name?” , and some vocabulary for things around the house.

Noah has become best friends with his nanny, Duang. She is great!  She helps so much around the house!  She has cooked for us a couple of times.  I do believe her and I have a start to a beautiful friendship.  We have already sat and shared about our lives and I can see how we will be able to draw encouragement from each other.  Not to mention, she is one funny girl!  She has made me laugh on many occasions.  We have already taught her some English slang.  So far the one she likes best is “Psyche!”.

I have found my son is more Lao when it comes to eating.  He loves spicy noodles and sticky rice.  He also LOVES English club!  We have it every Saturday. It is a great chance for the students to practice English and get to know the teachers more!  Noah loves it because he gets to be with all the girls and each time he goes to a different girl, they have a different snack for him! 

On Fridays I go to my friends house where we have some of the girl students over and have dinner, then we play games or watch a movie, whatever the girls want to do!  Last Friday we were sitting around enjoying a great stir fry that the girls made and fish soup.  Noah was sitting with us girls and was trying to eat rice by himself with a spoon. Needless to say it helped us all to get a great laugh and we had quite a little rice ball walking around afterward.  (with it being sticky rice, proves a little harder to get cleaned up).

There are many new “norms” for our life here in Lao compared to the states, it is so strange how normal it does feel for us.  I think we are the only people in Lao that don't own a motorbike.  I still have not gotten enough courage to try to drive our manual truck.   But even more so, motorbike accidents happen very often here.  So, when it is just me and Noah, I think I will opt to walk for now. I have enjoyed the simplicity of Lao living.  The open store fronts that sell expired cereals and unrefrigerated milk have become one of my favorite stops.  Josh and I have found a few that we enjoy going to and we have practiced our little Lao with them.  They just smile and commend our efforts, and then in our broken Lao help us find what we are looking for.  It is cause to build some good relationships though.  One thing that is a common thing for us to put on the counter to buy is Manao!  It is a lime-lemon soda, more lime than lemon, and Josh considers it the most refreshing beverage he has ever had!

Mommyhood has been great here.  Noah has enjoyed his own bedroom and I have enjoyed going to the market and becoming creative with our dinner menu every night!  Thanks to some of our friends back in the states, the Seymore family, I was able to make enchiladas the other night.  It was with minced pork but they were still yummy!

I hope to let you in on more of the day to day stuff in blogs to follow!  Hope this blog greets you with a happy and healthy week! Until next time, we love and thank you all so much for believing in us!