24 February 2017

Not Your Usual Sunday

Last Sunday went from being one of the most fun days I have had for quite some time to the second most painful experience I have ever endured.

With one more lesson left to plan for next week's set of English classes I woke up late, had some breakfast, procrastinated on the internet and then headed over to a colleague's house for an arranged picnic along the Nam Khan River. 
Being only one of two "Farlang" (foreigners) in the group I wasn't quite sure what was appropriate to bring along to a Lao Picnic. In true British standard, I thought why not crisps, a staple to any decent British picnic. I didn’t want to disappoint so I went all out and purchased two, yes two, cans of Pringles (Texas BBQ and Hot & Spicy for those interested)!
Once we arrived at the picnic grounds, located near the grave of French explorer Henri Mahout, known famously for making the West aware of Angkor and Laos, we were surrounded by rushing waters and luscious greenery. 
After eating all of the delicious Lao food and the much-appreciated cans of Pringles, some of us decided to swim to a small pocket of land in the middle of the Nam Khan River. Pictures do not do justice for the sheer strength of the river’s current. We clambered along the river bank against the current until we found a safe place with enough distance to make it across to the small island while swimming against the current, it was exhilarating. We adventure around the island for some time, exploring and swimming and we made it back slightly battered, bruised and me bleeding and missing half of a toenail after stubbing it on a rock, however, it was all worth it.
As we parted ways I cycled back to my guesthouse, quickly showered and prepared for my weekly Lao lesson with Peak. One of my regrets from last year was not being able to understand more Lao, after spending an entire year in Luang Prabang. Since returning I have been having regular classes and have been attempting to use it as much as possible.
After the lesson we set off to get some food, Peak on a motorbike, myself on a bicycle, at a slow pace still chatting and practising my Lao. In a spurt of hunger, I decided to cycle a little faster. I felt the recently attached plaster on my toe missing it’s nail come loose so I quickly glanced down to make sure it was okay. Upon looking up I was met with the fast approaching image of a suddenly braking motorbike which I collided with. 

It must have been an incredible sight to witness as I successfully cleared the entire length of the motorbike and unfortunately landed on my left wrist and skidded along the ground ending up lying on my back. After checking that the motorbike owners were ok (later finding out that he was drunk and drove away), the adrenaline wore off I knew immediately that something was not right. Luckily, Peak and I went straight to the hospital and I was able to get looked at promptly.

The X-rays show that I have broken and severely damaged my left wrist and that I require surgery. I was informed by my travel insurance that I must return to the UK for said surgery and the events that followed between then and now are rather dull and mundane.

I am now sat at home in the U.K. after an extremely uncomfortable twenty hour plus journey home, with my hand in a cast and a crudely drawn arrow on my elbow pointing towards my left wrist, just in case the surgeons don’t read the medical notes properly. Each morning I have to starve myself and wait for a phone call to tell me whether the surgery will happen today. So now all I have to do is play the waiting game.

Last Sunday was certainly an interesting day.

Luke T.

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