It’s October....that must mean the start of the high season! Tourists are starting to arrive in Luang Prabang enmasse. The famous Night Market has grown, and all manner of handicrafts, textiles, silver, woodcraft, bags, knick knacks etc are beautifully displayed by stall holders each night in the main street and stretching further and further along the road with each evening. Restaurants are filling and guest houses are finding themselves with more enquiry than rooms!
But here at GVI things are going along the same as always. As most of our students are not directly involved in the tourism industry their lives carry on through the high season much the same. Students across Luang Prabang are mostly all back at school /college and into the new school year. Novices and Monks carry on as usual with their daily rituals and study, however as the weather cools and the rain eases off we’ll see a little more rugging up!
There have been a few changes this school year for GVI, in most cases affected by the upcoming Laos Games to be held in Luang Prabang later this year, but also our increasing involvement in certain colleges. For example, at Xavadeth College GVI will take an active part in assessment and exams and have also been welcomed into the school’s permanent program with the school’s Director offering GVI Volunteers their own classes 10 times weekly! It will keep everyone busy with lesson planning, resource development and teaching but is indicative of the strong community relationship GVI has with our partner schools in Laos and we’re grateful for the opportunity to teach so many students on a regular basis.
A free Government workers class has been running at local educational centre, the Mekong English Centre for the past 10 months. Government Workers receive a low salary – approx $75/mth. They generally would not be able to afford to pay for English classes so a joint project was arranged between MEC and the GVI Charitable Trust to share the cost of these classes – 5 days/week for a period of 12 months.
The Government Workers have been receiving solid English training for 10 months so far. The English skills obtained would enhance their opportunities of interacting with foreigners on both a personal and professional level. Generally speaking, Lao Government Officials are at a disadvantage with their English skills compared to other South-East Asian nations.
Four Novice monks sponsored by donations through the GVI Charitable Trust – Somphone, Boun, Khak and Khamsan have been studying at Mekong English Centre for the past 6 – 8 months.
These 4 Novices are noticeably diligent students at the Monk School – the Secondary School which they attend and which GVI volunteers and the Manager of the project teach at. They are more vocal in class and have often asked questions during and after class. This change I believe has come about due to the increased confidence they have in speaking English. The daily lessons they attend at MEC have been a large part of this development.
They are very grateful for the support they are receiving and are showing this gratitude by full attendance and participation in all of their English classes.
Great news as two Novice Monks have commenced English classes at Mekong English Centre through the generosity of donations to the Project. The Monks have been sponsored for a year’s tuition.
The process of selecting the Novices to be sponsored involved having a meeting with the Abbot (Head Monk) of the temple and requesting him to choose who would be the beneficiaries. He chose wisely and the two Novices have been attending classes daily.
We can't wait to watch these monks progress on the course and benefit from the tuition. Thank you so much for the support.
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