Lessons Learned from Luxury / by Joshua P Jacks

Small everyday luxuries that we experience living in America become grand events here in our country of Lao.  Things like swimming pools, parks, zoo’s, and stores with grocery carts (buggies for my southern family) are just not as available here. However, if you look hard and know certain people, you can find some of those luxuries hidden in our city.  That is exactly what happened while we were on our Pi Mai break (Lao New Year).  I knew how much Noah loved swimming and I also enjoy it.  There was talk of a resort on the outskirts of our town having a pool with a family atmosphere. 

We asked around and found out where the pool was and I admit I was very excited.  So we got all our swim gear together and we were off.  It was very expensive to buy pool passes, around $20. 00 USD total but we allowed ourselves to do it since it was our break and there just isn’t very much for Noah to get to do just for him.  It was a nice relaxing resort and during the rainy season when not many tourists are in it is actually reasonably priced.  After spending some time in the pool we walked around the resort and enjoyed the peaceful scenery and just let Noah run around in the real grass all-round the resort. 

There are many days when I have trouble feeling that Noah is losing out on certain things that I would be able to offer him if we lived in the states. There are times when the things that we labeled as trade-offs kind of fade away.  We would always say it is not better or worse to live here it is just different. Instead of pools we have beautiful waterfalls. Instead of parks we have temples with grass to run around and discover sticks and stones. Instead of fast food we get sticky rice and street vendors with cheap fruit smoothies and unripen mango with yummy dipping sauce. Instead of the hustle and bustle that is evident with people I know stateside, it is long days spent with friends and playing with his imagination. 

My Father however, makes sure he shows me everywhere I go that those things in the states are nothing compared to being in his will.  The first thing I noticed at that pool was a reminder from him on how much he cares for and adores my son.  Out of all the animals they could have displayed as a fountain, they had an elephant (Noah’s favorite animal).  It brings a smile to my heart, to think that he thinks of those small things for my child.  It also helps me to realize how blessed my child is. When you don’t have those everyday luxuries, and get a chance to go to a pool or a park, they become big events and days that go down in the “Greatest Days” file in your little memory bank in your brain.

It was a great day, I think we will do it again.  Until then, Noah is just as happy with his bucket in our front yard and the many friends that always come to play with him as he runs, splashes, and plays!