Lak Lake and Buon Ma Thuot

A soft little rosy fort with cushions on the floor, smooth wood table, branches and nests and dream catchers dangling from above.   

  

An antique tv and studious young men and women. A menu on rolled leather with coffee and smoothie and watermelon juice. 


A cat that darted in and out. I wrote in my notebook and read curled up on the cushions and wanted to live there forever.

  

I did not expect Ce Cafe in Buon Ma Thuot, nor the incredibly sweet, poised, English speaking young woman Quan who owns it. Two hours before I was riding through windy rice paddies.

  

The city itself is a jangle of neon and traffic, in the part of the central highlands where the main reason for visiting is to see how the minority people of Vietnam live. 

  

Day 2 of my bike trip was a half day of riding, with a mok tok ride in Lak Lake to a village where the people live in longhouses. (Took other pics that can’t be downloaded until I’m home).  

I don’t understand enough about what makes these groups so different from dominant culture Vietnam, but they are poorer and less educated than the others. There has been some unrest, and one woman told us because of a dam the govt built they didn’t have a crop this year. 

But we happened to be there when the entire school ran down to the community hall to do running races and tug of war. The teachers were very stylish and had fancy cameras and most of the kids had gym gear. I asked Linh if I could make a donation to the school. “Better to buy some notebooks or something — you don’t know where money would go.” So somehow we hatched a plan to buy notebooks and pens for the winners of the races. And then …. Utterly randomly, I was congratulating 7 M’Nong kids on their running. Understandably they were a little bemused.

 

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