I had a very long bus ride that included one live rooster loose in the bus, about a dozen live pigs underneath the bus in the luggage area and at least fifty live ducks on the roof of the bus. I stopped in Savannahket so I could do a trek. I was able to visit a salt factory, where the locals process salt for eating. I then went on a hike through the jungle to a lake where I had lunch local style. Most Lao people eat sticky rice, which tastes much like regular rice, but is easy to eat with your hands. They form it in a ball and then dip the ball of rice in whatever meat or vegetable they are eating. We had fried chicken and fish on a stick, beef jerky with spices and bamboo salad made with fermented fish (not my favorite, but since I was a guest, I ate it). I then trekked through more jungle and farmland. There was a field full of pitcher plants! (just like Lemonade, who, by the way is being watched over by my sister right now until I get back) I had a waterbuffalo who was looking for its mate come running towards me at full speed, making his funny howling, moo-ish noise. I got out of the way quickly.
I spent the night in a small village outside of Savannahket as the guest of some of the local villagers. They performed a ceremony called a "Baci" ceremony where they wish you good luck. Everyone in the house wishes you good luck by tying a white string with a knot on it around your wrist. I walked around the town and saw women weaving mats to make extra money for their families. Lots of children were getting ready for a festival that was happening that evening. Each local village has a school and each school had their night to perform at teh festival. Kind of like our Winter Celebration, but with other schools from other cities. The next morning we did more hiking and were going to smim in a pond until I saw the leech that the local kids caught while fishing. It was about seven inches long. After that we went back to Savannahket, and I headed towards the town of Vientiane.