Day 17 & 18 - 2 day boat trip

Trip Start Sep 27, 2012
Trip End Nov 06, 2012

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Flag of Thailand  , Chiang Rai,
Wednesday, October 17, 2012

We embarked on a two day boat trip along the Mekong starting at 7am which involved stopping one night at Pak Bang enroute to Chaing Khong, Thailand.

The scenery was beautiful and it was a pretty peaceful and relaxing journey. I introduced Bollywood music to Alicia (much to Meera's disgust lol lol) and she really liked it lol. The family who owns the boat cooked us a Laoation lunch :)

On the way to Pak Bang on the first day we stopped briefly at a small village. I was touched by the children there and have decided to start a small project to help them. Our Lao tour guide Pat is a very mild mannered, polite person who has been trying to help the village himself by providing books when is able to do so. He knows the village head well and obviously speaks the language to communicate.

Here are some details regarding my proposed project:


Houi Lao village

located along the Mekong river between Luang Prabang and Pak Bang
Access to the village is via slow boat/speedboat
Population of approx 400 people- (50 families) - 80 students ( total number of children TBC)

Food- locally resourced - River fish, small animals and fruit & veg from the forests. The men of the village source food and build houses whilst the women look after the home and children. Each household has approximately 6 children.

Medicine - local knowledge of herbs front the forest is used to treat conditions. The main cause of death seems to be due to malaria - when inflicted the person would have to travel to Luang Prabang for medication or hospitalisation as necessary. Common complaints are stomach pains (aetiology unknown but possibly due to drinking & cooking with water directly from the river or poor sanitation)

Education has been introduced to the village only about 3/4 years ago. This currently exists in the form of one teacher who teaches all 80 children together 5 days per week. The teacher splits up the classes between Maths, English and Science. The village saves money together to pay for the teacher who's salary is 500,000 kip/ £40 per month. There are 2/3 other neighbouring villages who are able to afford more than one teacher but this particular village is unable to do so.

Books and writing equipment etc are dependant on what the village is able to afford each month.

The village is currently attempting to save money to build a structure which will serve as a school and a meeting place for the village.

Action suggested:
Raising awareness- Malaria spread and sanitation, contraception, health and dental care
Funding -
- Funding for additional teachers (£40 /month/ teacher)
- building a school (details of costs to be confirmed)
- building a dedicated area for medical treatment (where herbs can be stored and knowledge of elders in the village passed down adequately) ( details of costs to be confirmed)
- water sanitation facilities (raising awareness of the importance of boiling water prior to use and/funding for water sanitation tablets) (Pat will bring this up with doctors at the hospital in Luang Prabang to see what they suggest and how sanitation facilities can be sourced)
- Mosquito nets (£5 /net needed for 50 households = £250) The nets are large enough to provide for a whole family.
- Books and writing equipment - 1 set of materials ( a writing book pen/pencil ruler) is 10,000 kip = approx 85pence so about £70/month needed for this for 80 children

Monthly commitment required:
1 teacher - £40/month
Writing materials for 80 children - £70/ month

Other funding required:
Mosquito nets for the whole village - £250
Water sanitation facilities - TBC
Building a school - TBC
Building a medicine hut/building- TBC

Pat's details:
Phongphat panyakham
Face book phongphat panyakham
Tel 85620 96055884

I have spoken to Pat and will liaise with him regarding help after I have spoken to all of you at home. I was hoping to fundraise so we can build them a school and a small medical facility together.

Meera and I contributed all the Lao currency we had and the rest of the group's contribution meant we were able to pay for the teacher's salary for a month.

We are now in Chiang Khong and heading to Chiang Mai.
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Thomas on

Nice initiative Minalm! Say Hi to Justien from me :) Keep up the good work and enjoy the rest of the trip!

Bijal Badiani on

Thats great work Minsy xxx

Jils on

Will def help with this cause! x

Minal on

Thanks Thomas :) Justien says Hi too!

Jils and B...I'll discuss details with you when I'm back to see how we can make this work :) miss you so much xxx

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