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13 Jan 2018
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20% discount for returning volunteers

phum-2Leaving our life of luxury behind at the Mirror Foundation, we grabbed our rucksacks and sleeping bags and headed out in to the wilderness. After a very bumpy ride we finally arrived at our new home for the night, a little wooden house next to a river in the A Ja village. Once we had settled in, we spent the afternoon chilling out with the chickens and the dogs by the river. Then after a delicious Pad Thai dinner we decided to play Uno and we got so into it we hardly noticed the storm that was brewing around us. Suddenly all the power went out and the full force of the storm was on us. The thunder roared and the rain absolutely poured down, only the brightness of the lightening illuminated the soundings. It was really amazing. Eventually as quickly as the storm came about it just stopped, everything was soaked and although we were under cover we were pretty wet too. Bon’s family brought out candles because the power was still out so we could stay up chatting for longer. It was a really nice to spend time with them, even though it was quite hard to understand each other!

We woke up from a restless night on the hard wooden floor to a breakfast of ricey goodness, then we set off on our mission. We were all pretty nervous because we knew that not everyone would live to see the end off it! Leaving the village we headed straight up the first of the several thousand hills that we would climb over the weekend. We pushed on up and up, passing an Akha village and then deep into the jungle. We stopped for a short break while our guide made us bamboo walking sticks because we defiantly weren’t over the worst yet! Up and down we went, crossing streams with our guide macheteing our way through the bamboo just ahead of us. We walked and walked, and climbed higher and higher until we finally emerged from the jungle. We were finally half way there! Wiping sweat from our faces with equally sweaty t-shirts, we sipped our water and looked ahead. A small path wove its way up what feelt like the 752nd hill we had hiked up, on the hillside there was a little old women dressed in her tribal clothes planting seeds in the sweltering heat.

Eventually we reached a small fence and head into the Yafu village. Our guide took us to our wooden hut and gave us our lunch. It was delicious fried chicken with sticky rice and a super spicy saucy. Full and tired I went into our room and passed out on my bed. When I woke up everyone was dripping with sweat again because they just got back from visiting the view point. They said there was an amazing view of the area but it was another quite steep climb, so I’m glad I had a nap to be honest. Then we had some chill time so some of us had showers and we read our books before dinner. The family we stayed with put on a feast of rice and lots of different vegetable and meat dishes for us to eat. Then it was massage time! The Lahu massages are much softer than the Thai ones, but it was really relaxing and a perfect end to our hard day hiking.

We got up and had another lovely rice meal before packing away our things and heading down to the waterfall. We walked down the steepest hill ever and nearly lost someone as she suddenly slipped away the mountainside; quickly someone grabbed her and pulled her back up to safety. Can’t believe we nearly lost her forever, but our quick thinking and reflexes meant she lived to see another day. Continuing downward eventually we saw the waterfall. We dumped our bags on the side and dived straight in to cool off. We swam around for a while and jumped off the rocks into the water, it was so much fun (except for the all the bugs). Then we helped chopping up some vegetables for our lunch and watched them cook it over the fire, inside the bamboo. That was probably the best meal, the pork was awesome and there was soo much rice and egg. It was so nice. Super full, we headed down the mountain to see another waterfall and then headed back to the Mirror Foundation.

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