With the arrivals of Kirsten, a dear friend (and fundraiser too) and David Slocum from the Orillia Rotary Club, we set off to distribute the most recent delivery of water filters. Houay Khan is located across the Mekong River by car ferry and about a 40 minute drive on good road for a change. In fact it was quite pleasant. The village was a Khmu/Lao mix and it went fairly quickly. What was notable about this village was that it was a Christian village. In fact our team ate at someones house where they also held services.
For the next two days, we distributed another 97 filters to the remote village of Sandluangnoi. The first day was rather tough. They didn’t have a strong and well respected chief so very few Hmong families showed up. After a couple of hours of the Khmu leader (Hmong and Khmu village) going door to door, most finally came for the training. Our team ended up taking back 5 filters and the families were given one last chance to receive a water filter, it the trekked the following day 3km up to the main village. (most did the trek and we brought the filters back for them of course). There were a couple of families that refused to go and expected their filters though but were advised to speak with their chief about it.
Our small team headed up to the main village further up the mountain and it was a pleasant surprise. The chief there was engaging, had the respect of all of the inhabitants, participated in the distribution process and was full of smiles. The upper village was entirely Hmong. Our team managed to distributed the 57 water filters in about 2 1/2 hours as opposed to 5 hours to distribute 40 the previous day.
Our guests have left now, but Kirsten will be returning at the end of the month to assist with another round of distributions and participate in the water project ceremonial hand-off to the village. All of the team from the Vancouver area have either had their flights cancelled by the airlines or have decided to cancel their trips to Laos this year, due to the coronavirus scare.