Wanderlustress

Life in Laos through the lens of a diplomatic wife raising twin toddlers.

The Value of Friendships

Recently someone stumbled upon this blog and asked me about what life in Vientiane is like with young children and I really only had good things to say. Great things actually.

I was a bit shy at first to admitting that we only have one outdoor public playground (which is completely exposed and often too hot to use most of the time), and that we only have two cafes with indoor play areas.

Counting on one hand for the number of even the most basic of luxuries available felt slightly embarrassing. I tried to balance this with the quirks of driving at a day dreaming pace of 15km/20mph throughout the city and all the things you have to dodge. But when it came to answering questions about the quality and availability of healthcare here, well, the scorecard just dropped straight into the garbage can all by itself.

Still, when I wrote my reply I felt lucky. I felt lucky about the community of friends we have made here. Friends who come together to have fun, to enjoy our children, to give parenting advice, to have b!$@% sessions, to plan trips, to exercise, to organize for a good cause, to shop, to lunch, to pick up and drop off, to help out when solo-parenting, to spa, to bake…etc. It’s a great little village and we all need each other because of the scarcity here, and we know it. We appreciate each other because of it, and we are always at the ready to be a friend.

And I imagine it’s every expat mother’s dream to know that her kids have good friends, too. When a year ago M&O would only say each others names when asked who their friends at school were (probably because they hadn’t learned everyone’s names yet), they now have a long list to rattle off in reply. They’re not counting cafes or playgrounds. They’re just making the most of their friendships, just like me.

Cheeky popsicle totin' little rascals!

Cheeky popsicle totin’ little rascals!

Besties that teachers have to separate for their learning lessons in order to get anything done.

Besties that teachers have to separate for their learning lessons in order to get anything done.

"DON'T follow us mommy!!!"

“DON’T follow us mommy!!!”

And we have a trampoline! (and more liability insurance).

And we have a trampoline! (and more liability insurance).

Fun at the embassy LGBT pride event.

Fun at the embassy LGBT pride event.

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3 comments on “The Value of Friendships

  1. dalo2013
    June 28, 2013

    Great photos… Was in Laos for 10 days 12 years ago, and we did not want to leave when it was time to go. Anywhere a child grows up is special, family and friends are the key. Spending time in a foreign country I do think can offer children experiences unavailable elsewhere. Enjoy your time there.

  2. megswanick
    June 26, 2013

    I teach English in Thailand and can definitely relate to the feeling of needing a group of expat friends to relate to, as well as the adorableness and necessity for the little guys I teach to have their BFFs!

  3. Ana Gaby
    June 25, 2013

    I’ve never been at a “smaller” post but I feel like the sense of community in those places makes them the best posts ever. Enjoy this year in Laos. I think you will think back and cherish this place for life. The kiddos are huge and gorgeous!

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This entry was posted on June 25, 2013 by in Laos and tagged , , , , .

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