Heat, Painting, Babies / by Joshua P Jacks

Here I am again. I do not have a particular event to write about so I thought I would just share what has been happening in everyday life here in beautiful LP.  It has been VERY hot!  Over 100 almost everyday.  I have learned that my hair is going to be permanently wet during this this time and 2-3 showers minimum a day should be the requirement.

Josh and I have realized that where ever there is food, you can get fat!  Since we do not want to go in that category we have been trying our best to work out together about 3-4 times a week.  I enjoy that time we have together, it is something we both need a lot of improvement in.  He is always so much better at anything we do, it is nice being on a level playing field with him for once!

Our neighborhood kids have been coming over a lot.  Unfortunately most of the time they come over is when Noah is sleeping.  We are still trying to work out house rules and the best time for all the kids to come and play.  I stayed home from English club this week so they could come over and paint.  I will put a picture of what my wall looked like after they decided they needed to use my tape.  I moved Noah’s table out into the kitchen.  They really enjoy sitting there and eating noodles every time they come over.  They also have learned that my husband always has some kind of sweets on hand, so I am often asked if I can share those too.  All eating is now done in the kitchen because we have about a million ants living in our attic.  I am pretty sure they have super smells because one small crumb attracts them faster than I can find them.  (Did I mention I have a toddler, kids over my house a lot, and other people coming to eat? Can you say IMPOSSIBLE to keep ant food away! Haha).

I have also started tutoring. I tutor for Pre-beginner with my Lao teacher Nang, is in there helping me translate quite a bit.  Can any of you tell me how I can teach them when to use sk and sc?  Sounds the same, you just have to know which words use which combination!  I have only tutored once, but I enjoy it.  It gives me a sense of contribution.

In other news… I have been lucky enough to be here when another sweet couple has had their first child!  It only cost $50 to have a baby in the hospital here in LP. But I might add that you get your money’s worth.  She went in, had the baby in the morning and she was released that night.  Lao culture lesson: after having the baby, the mother cannot leave the house and must sit in front of a fire for 30 days to help lose the baby weight. I also think they think it helps purify the body after giving birth.  She was only aloud to eat sticky rice, salt, and hot water for about a day or so.  Now she is eating chicken, vegetables, and rice.  Along with sitting by the hot fire (it is already 100 degrees or so outside every day!) she also drinks a kind of herbal tea.  She said it is a little bitter in taste. 

When I went to see her, the baby was only 2.3 kilograms.  SO TINY!  (about 5lbs and 5 oz if I got my math correct). 

She was so nervous that she was going to hurt the baby and the baby was also having a difficult time eating.  I was there and tried to help her best I could. We were able to get little conversation in with my little Lao and her knowing some English. The culture is so different.  They do things different than we do, and I never want to cross that line to tell her she is wrong, who knows I am probably the wrong one!  So I helped the best I could but her mom came just yesterday to the rescue!  I went and saw the little one again today and momma said she is eating well!