Beach, English Club, and the Game “EEEEEE!” / by Joshua P Jacks

This first English club of the semester was a hit!  There were many people there. Most of the girls were sitting in the only shade provided by the trucks and had their jackets and hoods up! Not because they were cold, it was easily over 80 degrees, rather they didn’t want to get sun! I know we would be soaking in those rays and wanting to be tan, but here my milky white skin is considered beautiful. I knew I have been sensitive to the sun all these years for a reason! So, as the girls were huddled in the shade sweating to death in their jackets, all the kids were running around in their underwear jumping into the Mekong River and many games were taking place. Some were playing soccer, volleyball, kataw, and my favorite the “EEEEE” game. 


One of our friends offered to watch Noah so, WHOO HOO, Tonya got to play the EEEEEE game. It was confusing at first. It is like tag, but I didn’t catch on to all the rules. I realized this as I was running across the sand screaming “EEEEE” only to look back and see about 12 Lao girls laughing so hard they were laying in the sand.  If I was asked to explain the rules right now I still would not be able to, but I could tell you how to not win the game. I managed to “get out” everytime. 

Noah loved the beach and all the girls loved playing with Noah in the sand.  The Mekong is very low right now so it allowed for much beach and it was beautiful.  I was sitting with one of my teammates and just looked up and realized we were surrounded by mountains.  Sometimes I get so busy with everyday life, I forget to look up.  Every time I do I am never disappointed. In those moments, I get butterflies in my stomach and remember, “I get to live this life”.

So after a few hours on the beach, we all packed up and went home.  On our way home, we stopped at one of the foreign restaurants to pick up dinner.  By this time it was about 7 pm, we needed to get Noah feed, bathed, and in bed. On our way home, however, we got a flat tire.  No worries though, when you have a great team like ours.  I don’t even want to call them that, they are family.  In a matter of 10 minutes, 2 of our neighbors and 2 of our teammates were there helping Josh change the flat.  We were in walking distance from our good friend’s hotel, which has a play room for kids.  So Noah and I went there and Noah played while I talked with some more of our friends.

The excitement of the new semester is still in my heart, looking forward to many more great stops on this journey and hope you keep walking with us!  You could even come join us as a teacher here or even come visit! Just saying, anyone who comes would love it here!