My main reason for this trip to Laos was to visit Dannavieng Elementary School, it’s the school that my co-workers (Friends of the NLL) and I contributed in the amount of $1,250.00 to help complete the school. I do have to say that planning for this trip had been very stressful for me because it also meant that it’s my first time visiting Laos since I left. My dad was concerned for me because I left Laos when I was only about 5 or 6 years old, so he decided in the last minute to join me.
There has not been any new improvement to the school since my last post, the last installment of $500 that I made in August 2008 is still with Phor Yai (big father) of the village because the school doesn’t have anything further plan with the construction, and the $500 is not enough for the flooring. Phor Yai and his daughter thought that it’d cost about $2,000 for the cement floor, which I believed that they can collect from the local villagers. I do have to say that the school is a lot bigger than I thought, I’m glad that I’m able to take these photos myself, and by a twist of faith, everything worked out in my favor.
When one of my friends found out about my plan to visit the school, he asked if I could buy school supplies for the students and teachers on his behalf, and gave me $50. At the time, I had also decided to buy some myself, and with such kind gesture, I decided to match his donation and had a budget of $100 total. I didn’t know how many students at the time, but thought it might be closed to 200, so I bought the school supplies at the morning market in Paksun, and got 200 books of 100 pages, 40 books of 200 pages, 250 pencils, 100 blue pens, 100 red pens, the total cost of 865,000 kip. There are only about 150 students, so there are plenty for future uses.
I visited the school on November 20, 2008. We took the Song Tail (local bus) there, and not knowing the schedule and how long it would take to get to the school, we left Pakse a bit early and headed to Ponthong. We got to the school around 10:20 AM, right before their lunch break at 11 AM-1 PM.
I asked my dad and one of the teachers, Nang Ummala to hand out the books, pens, and pencils to the students. As you can see, the photos show for themselves, and if I have to say so myself, the joy of giving is definitely greater than the joy of receiving.
Handsome posts right before lunch break at 11 AM…
More photos of younger students
I’m happy to be able to make some small contribution to the school in Laos, and glad that my friend also gave school supplies. There are others that have made contribution that’s worth mentioning, Booyong Co. Korean donated 6 blackboards, as you can see that the old ones are in bad shape.