December 18, 2018 – Tuesday
Weather: 26 Celsius Sunny, a little windy
It is a beautiful day. For breakfast, at the local eating place we were last night, we had a nice homemade chicken rice soup with an egg inside.
At 8:15 am, we left for Ban Kangxé --- Ken, Sengkeo and me (team of SKL), Mr. Phouvong, his lovely wife, Chanthone, Phouvong’s advisor, Ms. Latda, the reporter, Mr. Lanohack and the driver Mr. Noy
Our contractor, Toui was right. After the rain season, the road going to Kangxé was quite damaged and rough. It was really bumpy. Noy, our driver, was super careful.
As we reached the village of Kangxé around 9:30 am, we had the great pleasure to discover the beautiful brand new school with new washrooms and deep well. Upon our arrival, we were greeted by the chief of the village, distict education chief, village people and guests.
After a short exchanges of pleasantries, we hastily started taking pictures of school children holding thank you banners. Soon after, Phouvong and his wife also distributed to each student notebooks and various school items.
The inauguration ceremony started in earnest approximately around 10 am with the speeches from the chief of the village, Ken and I, and representatives from the district as well as the province. SKL team members and Phouvong and his spouse were called on to receive acknowledgement certificates from the Ministry of Education on behalf of our numerous merited donors. The symbolic ribbon cutting ceremony was followed by the traditional colorful Baci ceremony during which villagers attached strings around our wrists while whispering good wishes and blessings. Soon after, lunch which composed of rice, soup, larb, fish, crab, chicken, pork, beef, vegetables, omelet, were served.
Around 12:30 pm we said our goodbyes to the villagers and local authorities feeling satisfied of mission accomplished.
On the road back to Vientiane, we made a few stops, one to buy Lao sugar and salty treats on the sidewalk (fried crêpe, banana…).
We had planned to go to Pakxoun school where we arrived some 90 minutes later than expected at 6:30 pm due to bad road condition. Fortunately for us, the chief of the village has managed to gather teachers and some forty school children at the school.
In order for us to distribute school and sports items donated by Debra Raine and Tom Burgess of Rainemakers Bond Inc. of California, USA, headlights from our cars were used to illuminate the place which makes it sort of surreal atmosphere. It was very appreciated.
Thirty minutes later we were back on the bumpy road. We stopped at Paksan for a quick supper at around 8 pm, in a cute Lao karaoke eating place. I had some spring rolls. We arrived in Vientiane at 11 pm, tired, but very much proud of a long prolific day. We were ready for a good night sleep.