Before leaving Ban Phonsikhay I went to check out the beautiful rice fields a few meters from the house. The last time I had seen or touch sticky rice during harvesting season was when I was living in Vientiane and visiting a farm near my Grandmother’s house before we crossed over to Thailand.

This is aunt Phone’s family farm. For those relatives that are able to stay on the farm they work the land and share the harvest. Each year the relatives would ship bags of rice to aunt Phone via the local bus. It’s very economical to ship food or clothing from Pakse to Vientiane or the other way around. There is a Lao phrase of “phen pi nong gun, beng pun gun gin” which translates to English as “when you are related to one another, you share what you have”. In Laos, you don’t have to be related to one another by blood, you can be pi nong when you are accepted into a family. That’s what I love about being Lao.

Rice paddies at Ban Phonsikhay