He would have to be in there. We knew it.
Not even a minute after we had entered the airport-building, Isabel & Chris had spotted their Dad / husband. He was waiting for his luggage to come – but in place of his bag there was his family!
Michael Runge is a gynaecologist, one of the best in South-East-Asia. To change that, he decided to start a special training in Luang Prabang & in Vientiane, Laos’ capital. He imports medical devices from Freiburg and takes them to the hospitals in Laos, even out to some remote villages!
In October, after Isabel had left home, he and Chris moved to Luang Prabang. Now they live half a year in Germany, and half a year in Laos. Fair Deal.
He was a little unlucky with his date of arrival, as Isabel and I went off into an elephant camp for two days, sponsored by Runges. We rode the elephants, fed them, brought them to “bed”, fetched them again in the morning and gave them a good wash, before they had brekkie. It was amazing, to see these huge creatures being so peaceful and tolerating everything without getting angry!
Isabel and I had a luxurious, spacious room, and some yummi food – which didn’t seem to suit her stomach, as she had to abstain from bathing the grey giants in the morning of the 2nd day. We also had to cut down our kayak-trip home – from 4 hours to 1h. But, at least, she felt better the next day.
Chris, Isabel and I spent many hours (and Dollars) at Joma’s, probably the best cafe in town. No matter, if for health reasons (jep, banana split is the best thing you could eat, if your stomach aches) or just to chill out and share the latest experiences, it was always a great place to be!
There was not too much spare time, but stillt enough to calm down every now and then. On Sunday, Michael showed us around in the hospital, showed us his “office”, the gynaecology-department and a little “corner of remembrance”, which he had left as dirty as the whole unit was, when he had arrived here. I have to commit, he did a damn good job in the last few months, as far as I can judge that. Respect!
One evening, the four of us strolled out onto the sandbank of the Mekong River. Four persons, some cans with softdrinks, some nuts, and two cameras. That’s all you need to enjoy a picture-perfect sunset!
It was an unforgettable time, which we spent with Isabels parents, and we were both pretty sad to leave them that Tuesday morning, as we went back to the airport where we had fetched Michael only a few days ago. On the one hand, I was looking forward to see my family again soon, on the other hand I knew, that it would probably be a long way down the road before I might come back...
Chris & Micha: Thanks for those wicked days. I will always remember them!