I was on a 3 day trek in Northern Laos to the hill tribe villages.

In the village, our little area was sort of boxed in and the locals, for some reason, found our every move extremely interesting. So much so that we usually had at least 10 kids, and a handful of adults staring at us.  I like the idea that we came to see how they live, and yet it's us who also gets to feel like a dancing bear on display.

It was a little uncomfortable. I felt I needed to entertain them and I started to sweat when all my crazy (lame) finger tricks and sight gags  were starting to wear thin. So I had an idea to entertain the kids and also to motivate us to drink the very warm Beer Lao (no electricity means no fridge)!

I thought of  a simple song (Mary Had a Little Lamb) and worked out how many notes it had, which told us how many bottles of beer we would have to drink. Once we'd finished with the beer, I went and filled each bottle with enough water to make all the required notes. I gave a demonstration as to how to make a sound by blowing over the top of the bottle. The kids all got it pretty quick.  After a bit of rehearsing, I managed to get the kids and some of the adults blowing out the tune  under my conduction. We drank some more beer which gave us more notes. So we moved into the much more difficult territory of Jingle Bells. A bottle Orchestra!

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