Yesterday morning Isa took care that I for sure wake up early, so we could have a last breakfast together. We also checked at the bus station if there is a minivan to Nong Khiaw for her, but unfortunately this was cancelled due to low demand. Hence she booked one to Luang Prabang and is likely to cancel her sailing on the Nam Ou river. In the last ten days it was a real pleasure to travel with her, we enjoyed our time together and had plenty of fun and conversations in German.
After I did some planning for my next days, I changed the guesthouse and went to the UXO Information Centre from the MAG NGO in the afternoon. On some displays the still explosive remainings from the hidden war are explained. Even more than 45 years after the ending of the secret war in Laos, people are still suffering heavily from these bombs, maybe even more as in Vietnam itself. As the rural population rely on farming their own land, this is still pretty dangerous nowadays, and they can’t crop enough rice for a whole year. That means they need to buy additional food, and therefore they collect the old metal and bombs from their fields. In the end almost as much accidents happend after the war than during the war. In essence that’s not surprising as more bombs were dropped in Laos than during the complete WWII in total by all parties. In two documentary movies the work of clearing the bombs (large and small) was explained very well. And one could get an impression on how long it will take until Laos get rid of all these remainings. In the end I donated some money and got a T-shirt for free. This was pretty nice, as I needed anyway a new one.
In the evening Jojo arrived from Vientiane. She has now Christmas holidays and as she didn’t got a visa for her travels in India, she finally decided to join me for the next time. But as her bus was also delayed…well actually she missed the early bus by 5 minutes…she arrived pretty late.