We left Dao Heuang Market a few minutes passed noon and arrived at Ban Muangkao by 12:25 PM. My Aao (uncle) needed to cash a check he just received the day before from my parents so we had to go to Lao Development Bank in Ban Muangkao. The bank was closed for lunch and would not be open until 1:00 PM. There was nothing else to do but to play the waiting game.
I was getting anxious after a few minutes of standing around and doing nothing and told my Aao perhaps we should go to the school first and then come back later since we have to visit two schools in one afternoon. My Aao told me there is no one at the school because they “pai phak phorne thorn thieng”, meaning they all went home for lunch. He said by the time we get to Dannavieng School the students and teachers would be back from their long break. I felt better and told my Aao that both Houaylao Elementary School and Phonsikhay Elementary School also have their long break at noon but for Akat Elementary School in Vientiane, it is taken at 11:30 AM.
We later talked about my graduation and my Aa (Aunt-in-law) wanted to know if my parents had paid for my education. She said her husband thought my parents have been sending money for me to live and study abroad. I told both of them that I did not get one penny from my parents for my education and everything that I have is from my own hard work and determination. I told them about my two siblings that are now working while studying part time and not expecting our parents to put them through college. I said my Mama has taught us well and has set a good example for us. She often said to us that her parents gave her arms and legs and the rest were up to her so we are trying to follow her foot steps and doing our best to not burden our parents.
I later spotted a farmer with his water buffaloes coming for their lunch break so I told my Aa that I wanted to go take some pictures to show my friend. The farmer knew my Aa and came over to talk to her. This was not a surprise to me since we have some relatives currently living in Ban Muangkao. I went next door to watch some people play Petonk, the game that Lao people of all ages love to participate in. The workers were on their lunch break and playing Petonk was a good way to digest the food and kill some time.