Pigs paw, snort, and snarl as they bed-down for the night against the sides of a Laos village home-stay hut. The only separation between our heads and the free-roaming herd are palm frown walls and a single row of upended and half-buried BeerLao bottles ringing the hut’s base. On top of the pigs’ cantankerous preparations, the village shaman’s drum beat, calling ancestral spirits to mend a toddler’s broken arm and cure a man’s cancer. Turning over, searching for a patch of yet discovered softness on the hard sleeping platform, I watch shadows move like scampering beetles across the overhead rafters as the moon slips in and out of monsoon clouds. I’m exhausted but unwilling to let sleep steal any of this adventure. For more, click download button above!


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