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Plain Of Jars

Near Phonsavan, Xieng Khoung province, Laos PDR

  1. August 25, 2012 at 15:50:09

    I spent about a week here a couple of years ago. I was with a group of people, organised by a friend who ‘adopted’ a Buddhist monk who came from a small village just out of Vien Vieng.
    I certainly didn’t see the city like you did. Sure, we could hear the loud music from the bars along the river while we were at the Organic Farm run by Mr. T. We had a cooking lesson there. My friend had helped set up the accommodation there for backpackers and because of the noise from the bars it wasn’t as popular as it should have been. I believe that because there have been so many deaths along the river that quite a few of the bars have been closed down.
    My friend does fundraising events in Australia and pays the wages of an English teacher (Lao nationallity) , provides chickens to people for farming, and supports students at College. She has tried medications, but they don’t know what to do with them and has tried computers in schools, but they get stolen.
    So this time, we painted the school in this small village, provided lino – bought locally for the floors, waste baskets (they had no concept of putting their rubbish into a bin – the children I mean). We sourced locally, school products – pencils, toothbrushes, tooth paste, combs, a multitude of things – made up packages and gave out to all the school children. They have nothing. She also had enough funds to pay the school fees of 12 children from the poorest families (the teachers chose these).
    We all took over old clothing and handed this out to the village people.
    She has taken about 3 tours over and called them Tours with a Conscience.
    A few years before our trip she took a friend who was an engineer who noticed that in the rainy season half the village was cut off, so he came back and build a bridge for them!
    She has since been back and organised plumbing for the school in town that teaches English to children.
    We taught English to students and also to the Buddhist Monks – which was hilarious.
    I love Laos and am looking forward to return in about a months time.

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