New Digs

This last week has been completely crazy. I got back from Phuket on Sunday. Then went back to work on Monday. On Tuesday I found out that our rent contract was up this month and the landlord wanted to raise the rent to $300 US a month and that he didn't want to rent it for just 3 months but wanted at least a 6 month commitment. I get the feeling that this has been prompted by some other problems between CUSO and the landlord but I really don't know the situation and getting info has been really tough. On Wednesday it was confirmed that we had to move and our rent was only paid up until the weekend so we had to be out of the house by Sunday.

Thursday and Friday were the CUSO Lao AGM which was held in Vang Vien which is about 160km outside of town (which means it can take anywhere from 3-7hrs to get there). Vang Vien was really nice and we stayed at a really cool hotel/resort outside of town near some of the caves in the mountains. I got to go cave swimming one day which was a definite highlight. It was also really cool to finally meet most of the other cooperants working in Lao. I plan to try to visit Michael in Xagnabouly and Anita and Joe in Salavan although the transportation time is a bit of an issue.

I got back to Vientiane on Saturday around 2pm and instantly got thrown into the middle of preparing for the move. Fortunately a lot of the CUSO people helped out and that made a big difference with dealing with a lot of the stuff from the house. Bounlanh (the cooperant placement assistant) helped us a lot because she knew of a house that she had cooperants from VSO stay at when she worked there. The house isn't as fancy as the house we had but it feels a lot cosier and I like the neighbourhood better. The one downside is we don't have a TV but we're going to talk to the landlord and see if we can work something out.

We moved Saturday night so it was pretty hectic. Today I've been looking around the new neighbourhood a bit and it is nice, there's a huge market really close to us and I think I'm a bit closer to work too which is really nice. Plus the landlord is really nice and is still working on fixing up the house more for us.