Dec 27, 2006

The Shackette Takes Shape

Kien and But in Their Kitchen

This is my favourite sister in law Kien and her husband But. They are both very educated for Laos. Kien has a two year accounting degree and But a four year degree in civil engineering. They both work rice fields belonging to someone else. In the USA we used to call that share cropping. In exchange for a portion of the rice they work the fields.
It’s been a pretty good year. The price of rice is up. Still they are considered not so well to do even by Lao standards. In their trash pile I saw a lot of large snail shells. I think they mostly live on the rice they grow and whatever fish they catch. Yesterday But traded one of the pups from his dog for a 200 gram bag of MSG.
Correction.Dec 28,06. That was five large bags of MSG probably enough to last a year, a few kilos. Oh, and the dog was to be a pet, not for eating in case anyone was wondering. Lao seldom eat dog.
Store bought items are hard to come by. They also have some ducks and they sell the eggs for cash money.
Their house is made of whatever materials they could find. The land the house is on doesn’t belong to them, a kindly neighbour just allows them to live there. I'll be way happy when they move into thier new house.


This is the current state of the house. We still need walls windows and doors, as well as to string the electric wires and wire the house, brick up the bathrooms and putt in plumbing, apply a sealant to the outside walls, and who knows what else.

Kien and Namphone

Kien and But have a nine month old daughter Namphone which means rainwater. Just barely visible on the right side of the picture is a bamboo basket for babies that all Lao moms seem to have. It hangs from a rafter and is rocked back and forth to put the baby to sleep. Vientiane has pretty good healthcare as of late. Namphone has had all her immunizations on schedule, and regular check ups.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Rob, thank you for sharing this story and pictures of your family. What you described is so true for many Laotians living in Laos. I still have family back there. We all try to help as much as we can and as best as we can. I hope your sister gets her house built.