My four weeks with the ADWLE in Vientiane, Laos has come to an end. I am so happy I had the opportunity to come to Laos and work with ADWLE. I huge thank you to Sonenaly, Anna, and Nana for making me feel welcomed. I’m looking forward to hearing how the cash management and forecasting reports work out.
Last weekend I was in Pakse, the capital of the Champasak province in Southern Laos. I toured the Bloaven Plateau, a beautiful area with waterfalls, villages and coffee plantations. After visiting the highest waterfall in Laos, Tad Fane and listening to it because it was covered by low clouds, I visited LAK 40 coffee and tea. I enjoyed a Laos coffee in a beautiful setting surrounded by coffee plants. Lao coffe is a mix of condensed milk, ovaltine, sugar and coffee.
On Sunday I went to Vat Phou, close to the town of Champasak. Vat Phou is a Khmer temple built into the side of Phou Khao mountain. The Khmer would later build Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Vat Phou is much smaller than Angkor what but is still an amazing place to see. The landscape at Vat Phou is mountains and closed to the Mekong River.
It is the rainy season here in Laos so the peaks of the mountains around Vat Phou are hidden by low clouds. The rains brought tragedy to the region south east of Champasak, when a dam being build gave way and flood villages.
The destruction in the area is significant with roads and bridges being washed away. Buddhist Lent started on Friday and I imagine there were a lot of prayers said for those affected by the flooding.
For the start of Buddhist Lent people visit the temple and give offerings to the monks.
I had the privilege of attending with Nana from ADLWE. She prepared the offering bowl for me and guided me through. After waiting in line we placed sticky rice, cookies and sweets in then monks’ bowls set on a long table. It was a wonderful start to my last day with ADWLE.
Thanks to everyone for your support and interest in my time here in Vientiane.
Sunday I leave Laos and fly to Beijing. I am making my way back to Doha via an eastern route.
If you are interested in volunteering and would like more information about Accounting for International Developing me send me a message or check out their website at AfID.org.uk.