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