Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Resource Generation Tour (3)

Here are some more photos of the recent water tour that we helped to host.

Roy (far left, photo above) grew up in Mexico and asked about the cactus he noticed growing on the agriculture college campus. (In the photo, Manila, beside Roy, is holding some cactus.) Surprisingly, Lao people do not eat cactus. So Roy proceeded to tell them how to prepare it. Throw the cactus leaves in to water and boil it for a few minutes. Then wipe off the slime, chop it up (peel and all) add garlic, onions and chilies and you are ready to eat it as a sauce for rice. Roy assured them that cactus is delicious.
At the time, Roy took a bite of raw cactus and offered some to the Lao people with him. They refused and one of the women said that "they will wait until tomorrow morning" implying that if he was still alive in the morning, they would consider eating cactus.
The reason we found this whole cactus story surprising is because in our opinion, Lao people eat EVERYTHING. They eat bugs, worms, weeds, larvae, dog, chicken feet, fish heads, slugs, frogs, algae, ant eggs and the list goes on. Maybe if Roy comes back to Laos in 5 years, he will find lots of Lao people eating cactus with their rice.

The team took copious notes and photos to document what they were learning.

Sharing some photos with new friends.

Kaylie and Phyllis designed bags for the water tour team which were a big hit. The Lao Disabled Women hand wove them for us.

On the last night of the tour we had a garden party at the MCC office to honor our guests and show them some more Lao culture.
Before the party, the women from the Lao Disabled Women's Development Center sold some of their handiwork to the tour group. The women have been partners with MCC for many years and make a wide variety of high quality paper and woven products.

We had a baci ceremony where we tied strings around our guests' wrists as a symbol of blessing and community.
After the meal, the Donkoi Children's Development Center Young Volunteers performed some classic Lao music and we had a dance. It was a memorable evening for all!