A Special Gift, a Gift of Knowledge

I’ve had opportunity to give the gift of knowledge to children in Laos, books are very special to me, and might be because I didn’t have many growing up, and now I often buy books for myself. I could imagine the excitement of these children at Dannavieng Elementary School when they received their books box, but imagining is not the same as feeling.

Believe it or not, I also received a children’s book as a gift, this one is very special to me, to all my sisters, and my dad. It is called ‘My Great-grandma Mintie’ written by Bobbie Hinson McNeil with Cathy Hinson Franklin-Griffin, illustrated by Chad Chrysler. My sisters, dad, and I each received a signed copy by Cathy, a very special lady that helped care for my mom during her final months, and my mom often talked to Cathy about going back to Thailand, if and when she would get better, and Cathy often has had a sincerely smile, looking back at my mom then and said “I’ll go with you.” When I received my copy over the weekend, I was very excited, read the whole book in one sitting, and thank you Cathy for thinking of us.

My Great-Grandma Mintie

My Great-grandma Mintie

Below are photos of books box gift that Lao Voices gave to Dannavieng Elementary School, the same school that we are currently helping to finish with the construction, and according to Darly, “…the book box library is shared by the entire student body from the first grade to the fifth grade. There are various topics to match all levels of the students. The children at Dannavieng Elementary School sent their big warm Sabaidee “hello” and a word of thank you to all the supporters of the book box library project. You have given them the “gift of knowledge” and they are very grateful for that.”

Dannavieng Elementary School Books Box Dannavieng Elementary School Books Box

Dannavieng Elementary School Books Box

Dannavieng Elementary School Books Box

Dannavieng Elementary School Books Box

Dannavieng Elementary School Books Box

Dannavieng Elementary School Books Box

I’m happy to learn that other Laotians are also doing this, below is a photo of an older books box library, donated by a former villager during a visit to his hometown, many years ago.

Books Box donated by a former villager


  1. how sweet of her! That was truely a nice thing to do. And I am sorry for your lost of your mother. It is hard, but like i’ve said to my cousin who had just lost her mother due to cancer, “it’s hard to see her leave, but it is better for her to leave than to watch her suffer in pain every minute of her life”

  2. ascandaloussin, thanks for your kind words, it took my mom illness for me to get involved with Laos projects, and I never regretted that I did. Cathy is a former hospice nurse, and she is still working with hospice, but on a higher level, and a very special person.

  3. Whatever the reason it was for you to get invovle, what matters is that you went out and did something instead of just sitting there and not bother to do anything at all.

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