I haven't posted any pictures for a while, just haven't had the time when I've been near a fast internet connection. I took this picture when I went for a bicycle ride when I was in Xieng Khouang. At the start of the rainy season, it rains heavily for a short time then the sun comes out and the air is so clear. I like the way the bamboo springs out - the branches look like the tails of frisky young animals.
This picture only about an hour away from my house. The distant hills are about 20 kms away, to the west of Phonsavanh. There's a long of "progress" in Xieng Khouang but there still are quiet places. Ban Vieng, the last village I rode through didn't have electricity and although they had to carry their water from wells, there was water to carry. I stopped and talked to folks and finally had to beg off offers of meals and drinks.
One sobering thought is that later, as I was going though the UXO statistics over the past few years, I noticed that there had been several UXO incidents in Ban Vieng. Even though the war ended over thirty years ago, people's lives are still at risk.