Finding yourself is a journey as each moment represents a new beginning.
My friend and I were driving through north Laos at the end of my trip, and I asked why there aren't any homeless people. He told me that the Lao people are heavily devoted to their families. What money is made from working at the market or fields is then used if a family member is sick or needs a better place of shelter. It struck me how compassionate that is and something I don't see enough here in the states.
I’ve had so many thoughts and conversations since that day on the Finley River, some 40 years ago. If you haven’t read the story yet, click here. In the moment we realized we were okay, relief followed fear and peace followed panic. In the hours and days that followed, I was thankful to be alive and unharmed. It took some time to process and draw conclusions about that experience. It’s not a story that follows, but rather groupings of thought.
The first difference I noticed was they drive on the flipping wrong side of the road! It took me weeks before I could drive anywhere without holding the steering wheel in a death grip. Second, they have a pub in every village where the locals go to hang out at the end of the day and blow off steam, which does wonders for human relationships within the community. Third, the English language is a lot different over there. You quickly learn that asking for French fries will get you dirty looks, and you best adapt to the local custom of calling them “chips.” They call semi-trucks “lorries,” and a whole host of other small vernacular variations.