8 September 2015

Laos - Third and Fourth Week

I am really going to miss Laos, more so than the other countries as I was able to form a real connection with a lot of my students due to their higher standard of English, which made saying good bye and whole lot harder.

The third week marked tne end of Xayadat College's summer school, which meant I had to say goodbye to my students from both the morning and evening classes. To round off summer school, each of the classes performed a song that they had been practising during the week. It was a lovely way for the students to present something that they had been working on to the rest of the school and a fitting goodbye. 
Thankfully a lot of them carried on attending the after school class the week after, so it wasn't all tears.

On our last weekend we travelled out of Luang Prabang and went to Vang Vieng, a very interesting town that has been turned into a place that essentially caters exclusively to tourists. Home to the infamous Tubing, drugs, alcohol, Friends and Family Guy bars (bars with big screens showing Friends and Family Guy on repeat all day) and a whole bunch of touristy activites. We managed to go zip lining, tubing and exploring through a cave and watched too many episodes of Friends over plenty beers. It was nice to have a short break from Luang Prabang but I quickly began to miss it. It saddens me that people would travel all the way to Laos and spend all of their time in Vang Vieng not experiencing the real cultural wonders Laos has to offer.

On my final week I had the pleasure of teaching at one of the Temples GVI work at, Wat Mano. This provided the truly unique experience of teaching Novices in their temple grounds. Despite their level of English being extremely basic, it was fun going back to drilling beginner English to some very young novices for a week. The hard part arose when it came to saying goodbye to my pre-intermediate Novice class, who I had been teaching for the whole four weeks, and my remaining students at Xayadat College. Songs were sung and gifts were shared, including a lovely hand drawn picture of me that captured my eyes perfectly. 

Well that is it, my travels with GVI are over, for now. The past 12 weeks really have been incredible, I have experienced so much, meet so many amazing people, both other volunteers and the members of each community, and I believe I have really developed as a teacher and as a person. But my volunteering doesn't end here, next destination, India... again.

Luke T.

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