It is hard to believe that another season has pretty much come and gone, with the last project well underway and our last small project expected to be completed over the next couple of days.
We had lots of amazing visitors this year, lots of trials and tribulations with our projects but in the end, I wouldn’t trade any of these experiences for the world. Each year I learn more about the Laos culture and gain an even better understanding of how they think – it helps me to do my job better.
I suppose the most surprising thing that happened this season was that as I was watching our dollar drop and our expenses rise, I was re-evaluating which projects I would have to cancel or postpone…or downsize. Low and behold, donors came out of the woodwork…and not just a few. As a result, I did have to cancel a small toilet project but that was all. All of our main projects remained intact. There will be another posting of the last main project, just before I leave.
At this time of year, it is important that we review all of our requests for next year. We have already approved one project, in partnership with www.SKLInc.org to build a secondary and high school in the Sayaboury province. As far as water filter go, I think we have requests for well over 1000 and are reviewing plans for another water project and individual toilets for a village of 250 families – the families currently go down to the Mekong River to do their business…not exactly hygienic. These toilets will not be like the ones we traditionally build but we will supply some materials and one engineer to assist the villagers in building their own.
Here are a couple of the projects we hope to do next year, with a little help from our friends…okay, a LOT of help from our friends.
We will also need to add water filters for every family in the village…add that to the long list of requests. The filters have done wonders for the villages that have them…and the word has definitely spread.