The trek was over and everyone was looking forward to a good night’s rest on the bus, on our way to Laos, it was soon clear that this would not be the case…
The bus journey started jubilantly enough at 19:30 hrs with a sing song, Sweet Caroline, Patience and Want You Back all sang brilliantly by the group. The problems then came when everyone tried to get some sleep, 16 big boys and 3 staff members all scrunched up onto a tiny bus. Arms and legs everywhere, it was clear to see that sleep was going to be impossible in the 19 hours that lay ahead.
A standout moment happened when we had a break around midnight, we all grouped together outside the bus, some lying in the middle of the road (Ed. It was very quiet folks!) looking up at the galaxy around us where Theo and Cliff talked us through stars, shooting stars and the planets around us. A real good moment on what was a somewhat difficult day so far to this point. We arrived at Dam Bien at 04:00 hrs where everyone was relieved to stretch their legs but unhappy at the one and a half wait until the next bus. However the mood was surprisingly good at this point but everyone was still looking for the much needed sleep.
When we finally got to the border the mood was a bit edgy and the boys were very tired, even Mr Carson’s jokes had dried up, to the relief of the group (Ed. And the other staff members). There was a bit of hassle getting through which brought some comical moments, Jack Ross looked like a rabbit caught in the headlights as he stumbled through the visa process much to the amusement of the group watching on. Everyone of us having to pay for things we were unsure what they were for…including a temperature reading which cost us all a $1.
On the next bus everyone got sleep much easier as they were at the point of tiredness where it was easy to sleep. People where nodding off left, right and centre. When we eventually got to the town we were staying in, Mark and Brian found us accommodation pretty quickly in the centre of the town, (everywhere is the centre of the town, it’s so small!!) the boys wanted to get some rest before exploring the town in the afternoon. Some of the boys went to organise the boat trip for the next day where they were told $50, the boys handed over the money when they soon realised that they had a bit of a nightmare as the money was only for life jackets. The boys learnt a lesson and were very apologetic to the group. (Ed. We are yet to see how much we will have to pay for the boat)
After a very tough day the mood after the evening meal had improved, in a day where a lot of lessons were learned and a lot of sleep was lost. As I write this the morning after it is all behind us and all the boys are excited about the rest of the trip. In the words of Cliff, ‘Tomorrow will always come.’ (Ed. #lifelessonnumber1)