Jill and Tom - On the road in 2010 travel blog


The best spring rolls we ever had, anytime, any country.

Most amazingly, it was at a restaurant called "Makphet" (which means 'Chili' in Lao) run by former street kids and their teachers. The program has trained over 1500 kids to work in the hospitality and tourism industries. They also bring in the families of the children and train them to make arts and crafts which are for sale at the restaurant. 100% of the proceeds from the restaurant funds the various programs.

Vientiane, as the capital of Laos, seems reasonably prosperous. But you peel back the proverbial onion (and sweep the dust out of your eyes) and the fundamental problems in Laos are illuminated, which leads to so many kids having to fend for themselves.

Now granted, Laos only became an independant country in the '70's after the US finished bombing the living daylights out of the place during the Vietnam war, so it is not surprising that they have some catching up to do.

The Lao people are incredibly humble, friendly and are glad tourists (in large numbers) are coming to visit their country. And thankfully for us, they are glad to see Americans as well.

Now we just have to figure out a way to get back to "Makphet" for more spring rolls.

JyT

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