The Clifton Ban Xai Holiday News Report.

The Clifton Bans Xai Holiday News   4 -10
th March

We have been here at Bans Xai a week now and feel really settled  thanks to the informative hand over from Bill and Corale.

They introduced us to the Mivac workings as well as the school at HP which is an absolute credit to those involved , a very enthusiastic class room of 22  happy children in a learning environment. The  children enjoyed receiving photos of themselves which Bill and Corale had taken previously. I am sure a fitting farewell for the Edwards  with lots of smiling faces.

We arrived at Ban Xai, with hopefully enough supplies for a fortnight, as we decided not to go back to Phonsovan every weekend. Lots of local veges and meat from the market ,no hormones there might I say, and the market reminded us very much of Rustys market in Cairns where the stalls are run predominately by Hmong although no delicacies like frogs and insects in Cairns ,we will leave those for the gourmands here.

In our week here I have taken on the role of Lab Supervisor or water tester extraordinaire  checking if  we are slowly getting rid of that bloody e .coli. with the water filters. The Colisure system is very easy and accurate,  I think I will request a lab coat tho’ to fit the title.

I have also built a new vege garden mainly to propagate seeds I have already put in some papaya and water melon and transplanted some tomatoes from the existing house garden . The pumpkin is taking over and dwarfing some of the existing veges so a bit of reorganizing is needed. It is the beginning of the wet so I am not sure if it is the right time to get much happening tropical plants should be Ok .

I have discovered a very healthy plot of lemon grass too .

We were very privileged to be invited to lunch at the village for International Womens Day . It was a pleasure to sit with the wonderful women of Bans Xai who loved watching me taste and enjoy Lao food wondering how much Chilli my taste buds could cope with I think I passed the test with a few giggles along the way.

David has been working on the Biodigester which produces a superb amount of liquid fertilizer but no gas (Peter Maroney tells us that as a result of speaking to David he has found out there is a little gas and it will improve).  So there has been a lot of puddling in the pooh or in the vernacular “shit stirring’

He’s also been working in the Cassava garden which now sports an additional 6 X 50m hilled rows liberally dosed with fertilizer.

The Policemans’ residence is now being clad ,after which progress will recommence on the piggery.

Oh !!!! the water supply, a pipe from here a pipe from there, a pump to high or low .

The concrete tanks are full ,the overhead tanks are full and after a torrential tropical down pour the rain water tank is full  and the village has water. The garden has been watered from the heavens so all is good along with a gentle snifter of Jamiesons Irish Whiskey of an evening the holiday pace is going well.

The five wonderful misters that we work with and our resident policeman as well as the local children all make for an enjoyable community.

How trying and difficult it must be to train someone every 2 months however we are endeavouring to be diligent students  and should be Lao accomplished after 2 months .

Till the next installment.