Riding through the tiny villages in the mountains of Northern Laos, I see children playing the wheel with a stick game I have seen kids playing with in Uganda and Rwanda, some with little cars they’ve made by putting wheels on empty bottles.

Many people are huddled around little coal fires. Everyone is bundled up. Most of the children run to the road and wave at us. I shiver, not dressed remotely warm enough for the cloud mist, the 12*C, for the wind. I notice one little boy crossing the road with some hesitation, hopping from foot to foot. He’s barefoot, I notice. Most of them are. The villages are crammed with kids, babies tied on backs.

The little girl who watches us warily while we have our morning break has a pink coat and flipflops.  We give her cookies, the leftover almonds.


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