It's been a long hot day. We've just finished at the third health centre - this one doesn't even write down the number of births. On top of the core team of four, we have the provincial immunisation manager and a district representative along for the ride - four of us squished across the back seat as we bump along dusty roads. The driver's collection of cheesy soft rock blares through the speakers as my colleagues sing along: "Cos I am your ladee! And you are my maaaan..."
Abruptly, a whole lot of chatter breaks out and we pull over at a bamboo hut in the middle of a barren rice field. A minute later, I am handed a plastic bag full of sweet corn. Very recently boiled sweet corn.
"Whenever you reeech for mee..."
I try to unpeel my cob. As does the laughing provincial manager. Bump. Boiling water drips all over our legs.
"... gonna do all that I can..."
I get to practice one of my few Lao words as cries of "Hon! Hon!" (Hot! Hot!) erupt around me. The corn is indeed very Hon, and near impossible to hold. We jolt along, sliding from side to side, hot corn squeaking between our teeth. All I can do is giggle.
"We're heading for sumwair... somewhere I've never beeeeen..."