My friend and fellow PiA-er Maggie works for the Lao Rugby Federation here in Vientiane. She’s one of the hardest working people I know, and though I don’t remember her official title, it’s something involving a combination of managing both the men’s and women’s national teams as well as coaching, playing, and organizing all sorts of community programs. I’ve attended several LRF games over the course of this year, and a few weeks ago was one of the biggest– Laos vs. Cambodia in the men’s Mekong Cup final. Maggie asked me to photograph the event, which was a great opportunity to get up close to all of the action.
What began as a light rain at the start of the game soon became a full-on rainy season deluge (that ended up lasting about 48 hours in the end). Luckily the Lao team’s fans were already gathered, waving flags and noisemakers in the stands, and I had my friend Sam as my trusty umbrella holder to shelter my camera and I from the downpour. Whenever it seemed the rain couldn’t possibly get any harder, more sheets of water came down, until the field and the platers were an indistinguishable muddy mass. All of the sliding and faces full of mud were worth it in the end for team Lao, who emerged triumphant as the Mekong Cup champions!