December 24, 2018 – Monday
Weather: 33 Celsius Sunny and very hot
After an early breakfast, we all left at 8 am. Sam was feeling better. With the bumpy roads, it took us an hour to arrive to Ban Na Yè.
Patiently waiting for our arrival school children, teachers, village people and representatives were happy to see us. After a brief introduction by a district education officer, the formal ceremony started at around 9:30 am with the speeches by the village chief, myself, John, and Vangvieng district manager. Toward the end of the formal ceremony, we presented them the scholar and sport items given by the Wasabi Group. And SKL gave $100 to the school maintenance committee to encourage them to save money for the school.
Following was the traditional Baci ceremony. With a bottle of Royal Crown Whisky John brought from Canada we had fun exchanging drinks with the Lao people, who had their own« Lao Khao», a Lao hard liquor.
After a brief lunch, John and Sam distributed scholar items: notebook, pencil, pen, eraser, sharpener to each student. They were all very grateful. Sam distributed frisbees and showed them how to play. He made a little speech motivating them to use the sport items and practice activities: soccer balls and net, volleyballs and net, badminton kits, jumping ropes and frisbees.
After, at noon, we briefly visited an orange orchard just next door to the school. A nice personal way to learn more about organic orange plantation. Together we said an emotional Bye Bye to the Na Yè village.
We were back to the hotel at 2 pm. We had a quick snack. Then John, Sam, Ken and I took a fun boat ride on the river around 4 pm. We walked around the park nearby with strange old rocks and natural plants. Back at the hotel around 6 pm.
John, Sengkeo, Ken and I and Somphet who’s accompanied by his friend, Choy, went for dinner at the lovely Villa Vangvieng restaurant. Sam was still feeling dizzy and decided to rest and recover in his room. We had another feast with traditional chicken soup, chicken laarb, Lao salad, spring rolls, bbq chicken and some wine.
On our way back to the hotel, John paid for a hot balloon ride. We will appreciate even more the splendid sunrise. But now back to bed.