Sabaidi

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Kuang Si Falls

Sabaidi from Laos! I am two weeks into a six week stay in Luang Prabang. It feels good finally being caught up on past adventures so I can start blogging about my time in Laos.

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View of the Bamboo Bridge over the Nam Khan. There are two rivers that run along Luang Prabang forming a little peninsula at the one end of town – the Nam Khan and Mekong River. This is my view from the sidewalk when I walk from the volunteer guesthouse to my favorite cafes for coffee!
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The convergence of the Nam Khan and Mekong River.

I am volunteering for six weeks teaching English to girls. My schedule is very busy. I have lesson planning in the morning for the four classes that I am teaching. Around 10am I take a van or tuk-tuk out to a buffalo farm about 40 minutes away from the guesthouse.

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Tuk-tuk ride to the buffalo farm. I love the ride out to the farm especially from the back of a tuk-tuk. It’s nice getting a break from the businesses of town and into the country side.

The farm recently opened up to the public selling their homemade ice cream from the buffalo.

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Buffalo on the farm

I teach two one-hour classes to girls. The objective of the lessons is to work on English with a focus on the kitchen, cooking, and working in a cafe.

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I often use the site of the future cafe as my classroom. The farm has been in existence for about two years now but it only recently opened up to the public selling their ice cream. They will eventually open up their cafe for people to enjoy salads and sandwiches along with their ice cream. The farm is using milk from the buffalo to make their own ice cream and cheeses.
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It’s very dangerous working at a farm that sells homemade ice cream!

Around 1pm we drive back to town where I grab a quick lunch and break before heading to a learning center where I teach an English class to six girls after school.

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It’s about a mile and half walk to the learning center. The walk is one of my favorite parts of the day. The center is located away from the downtown, tourist areas of Luang Prabang so it’s an opportunity to see locals living life. This is a common site walking around town as well as to and from the learning center. Novices and monks walking the streets to and from their temple. Some of the volunteers in my program are teaching English to novices and monks.
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Here I am in the classroom wearing my teaching outfit. As a teacher I must wear a collard shirt and the traditional female skirt known as a sinh. Because I teach on a carpet I have to take off my shoes and teach barefoot which I love doing!

When I am done with the English class, I help teach a women’s health workshop with an other volunteer to some of the older girls. We are helping them understand female health topics like puberty, menstruation, reproduction, and childbirth. More to come on this project in a future blog dedicated to this topic!

Once the workshop is done around 6:45pm I make the mile and a half walk back to the volunteer house for dinner. So it’s a full day and busy week but I am absolutely loving it!

Luckily we have our weekends free and I’ve been able to take advantage of some free time to explore the local area, enjoy some meals out, and take advantage of the great coffee and pastries in the cafes.

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One of my favorite cafes has views of the Mekong River. Laos grows coffee so my favorite place to get coffee makes it from coffee grown on their plantation. It’s nice and strong! This is a fun place to come and watch boats on the river taking tourists to different sites.
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The cafe I like going to has river side seating – which is the view from the picture above – or you can sit in their cafe. This was my view Saturday late afternoon enjoying a cup of coffee and their homemade banana bread with espresso butter. Yum!

More blogs to come from Laos about the different weekend trips and adventures as well as on the work we are doing with the girls. Kop chai (thank you) for following along!

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