Thursday, February 23, 2006

Long Time No See!  久しぶり!

My uncommonly long stay in Sapa allowed me to become good friends with many of the locals, especially the girls of the Black Hmoung. The youngin's took to calling me Melissa Bannana with great joy, so that everytime I left my hotel I was greeted by a chorus of "Melissa Bannana!" In return, each of my little friends got a fruity nickname of their own: Sonny 'Strawberry', Lu 'Lemon', and Mung 'Mango'.

It`s been a while since I`ve had a chance to update this blog, but the adventures continue, undaunted by my lack of laptop or computer access! Since last I wrote I have faced many perilous dangers, such as my decision to recontract and a journey to the far away, frozen land of Hokkaido, enduring sub-zero temperatures (well, according to the Celcius standard) to experience its "world famous" Snow Festival. Of course I have no way to upload my pictures (or anything to upload them to, for that matter), and as graduation and spring break draw near I find the time has come for me to decide where my next adventure will lead me!

Lu, Chu, me, and Chem outside Chu`s home in Lao Chai. Chu snuck me into the Village, sandwiched between a Black Hmong man with a motorbike and herself, past the gaurded gate during lunch time. Usually only guided tours with permits and licenses are allowed to enter the village for short periods of time. After cooking me an amazing meal (extremely delicous despite the fact that it almost killed me!) She dressed me up in her older sister`s indigo-dyed hemp robes. "Now you are my sister!" she smiled. "You are Black Hmoung, too!"

The girls and I at the top of a small mountain overlooking Sapa town.