The First Bicycle Distribution in Laos!

The last three weeks has been a race against time.  I had been trying to get the projects to the stage where I felt comfortable leaving them.  With the exception of one project, they are all 70% finished or higher AND almost all of the materials have been safely delivered on those projects.  Even better news is that 6 out of the 7 projects will be completed well before the rainy season begins.  The last thing I wanted to do was be the reason for so many workers getting sick while working during the rainy season.

First of all, it was rather unfortunate that Lisa McKoy from the Gravenhurst Rotary Club was not able to visit Laos this year due to timing and a miserable cold.  Lisa is my mentor in many ways and with others was responsible for starting up the Rotary Wheels for Learning program.  This year she distributed over 1000 bicycles to students, allowing them to get to school and back.  With her mentor-ship and thanks to the Rotary Club of Gravenhurst we were able to distribute an additional 50 bicycles to two villages in northern Laos, one group of 20 to a school about 1 hour south of Luang Prabang and another 30 distributed to Pha Yong Village about 4 hours north of Luang Prabang.  I was able to negotiate a really good rate for the bicycles, in fact better than I imagined and the cost ended up being well below budget!    Here are some highlites;

Student offering sincere respect and thanks after signing for his bike.

This was quite an exciting time for the villagers.  The village chief, school master, parents and kids were all present.

The kids listening as I (and the schoolmaster) talk about taking good care of their bicycles.

Lots of happy kids. Each bicycle included basket, lock and space on the back for an extra child where needed.

These next pictures were taken in ViengKham Village where the bicycles were staged for final assembly and distributed for Pha Yong Village.

The students put their best signature forward in anticipation.

30 bicycles all ready to go.

The Village Mascot

Happy Kids!

All ready to go but wait...Pha Yong Village is the other way!

Lots of Happy Faces.

Thank you Rotary Club of Gravenhurst!!! We CAN and DO make a difference.


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