Project Sekong 2013: Where We Work People Have No Surplus To Sell. The Closest Market Is An Hour Away

March 30, 2013

It may not look like much but this market in Dak Chung is our Wal-Mart, our Walgreens, and our Piggly Wiggly. If they don’t have it in Dak Chung, we’d best decide that we don’t really need it.

We don’t get here often because Dak Chung is an hour from camp and the roads are tough on both vehicles and passengers. The two most critical items that bring us shopping here are fuel and drinking water. We consider vegetables and fresh meats to be luxury items; we can’t store perishable foods for long because we don’t have refrigeration.

For a couple of days after a trip to town we eat high on the hog, wolfing down perishable foods before they spoil. Then, once the feasting is over, it’s back a steady diet of less perishable foods: dried fish, water buffalo jerky, canned sardines, cabbage, garlic, onions, chili peppers and the like.

And, of course: rice, rice, and rice. The Lao words for breakfast are “first rice;” the words for lunch are “second rice;” can you guess the words for dinner?

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