Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Making Children’s Picture Books for 15 Schools

During the meeting we held with the principals of the 16 kindergarten schools in the district, Nyom showed the other teachers how she had made her own children’s books out of exercise books and pencil crayons. The teachers wanted to make their own, and since we want to encourage creative initiatives we decided to buy the basic materials for them. We had already planned a trip to Pakse to pick up the fencing materials to finish last year’s kindergarten school fence, so it would be easy to pick up the school stuff.

The trip included a dusty 3-hour songthaow (open truck) ride from Muong Khong to Pakse with Nyom (the principal of Muong Khong’s kindergarten). The truck dumps you on the outskirts of Pakse, so we had to catch a tuk-tuk (motorcycle taxi) to the central market, the Dow Hun market. Trying to get work done in Laos is always an adventure! And getting them home was really something—imagine transporting a huge section of steel fence, boxes of school supplies and 6 bags of vegetables on various buses (we had to lug them around ourselves!) But we got the fencing and supplies and they’ll be handed out at the next monthly meeting.
Nyom buying school supplies in Pakse.

Nyom and Shawn try to take a nap on a loaded truck with people and stuff.

This is what the truck looks like. Check out the bananas.

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