Wednesday, February 22, 2012

See a Problem, Solve a Problem - a day with JWOC


Emily helps with those hard to remember colors
          After we finished our early morning giving alms to the local monks in Luang Prabang, we returned to the hotel and ate our own breakfast, and soon after that, we were greeted by some local staff of the Cambodian/American company that had arranged our travel in Laos. Our plan for this day was to join the staff of Journeys Within Our Community for an afternoon helping at a local village school which their company had built and operated for elementary school aged children who otherwise wouldn't have a school to attend at all.

The kids really liked Claira
          We brought with us some arts and crafts to do with the kids while we were visiting their classrooms, and also we had text books and supplies which we were donating to the school. As we arrived at the school, which was about an hour outside of Luang Prabang, we could tell that the kids were excited to see us. There were two different age groups that we would be assisting with that day, preschool/kindergarten and 1st-to-3rd grades, but when we arrived they all gathered in one large classroom, so the teachers could introduce us and tell them a little bit about who we were. None of children spoke English (nor did most of the teachers!), so there was a language barrier, but they were learning to count and say colors in English - which was definitely something that we could help with! (I didn't tell them that I was helping to teach English to every school kid back in Vietnam)

They were great with numbers - all the way to 22!

mom presents some classroom supplies
          The staff had some large flashcards with numbers and colors, and we held them up in front of the class and helped them practice their English. They had the numbers down, but the colors were a bit more difficult for them (they were actually kind of hard for me too...what color is sea-foam green again??). After all the hard work was out of the way, it was time for some fun, so the kids broke back into their two classrooms and we broke out the arts and crafts. In spirit of the impending Year of the Dragon, we had dragon masks for the kids to make. We helped them cut out the masks, and they colored them. It was a lot of fun working with the kids and they truly seemed to enjoy our presence in their classrooms. They loved looking at themselves with (and without) the dragon masks in the camera. I would flip the viewfinder of our camcorder around and they would laugh and laugh when they saw themselves. After about an hour and a half of fun, it was time to say goodbye to all our new little friends, and head back down into LP. We took a bunch of pictures and had a bunch of little hugs, and then we were off. It was a great experience meeting the kids and interacting with them, and I know my sisters had a lot of fun too.

The kids wanted us to have "teacher shirts", so we would always remember to come back and teach them

          It was a great day from start to end for all of us.


  1. Wow! Thats so cool that you got to be with those kids! We got to see a cool video from your dad in Jim's Class at SBMS.

  2. I wish I could do something like that! Your dad showed us some clips and pictures in Social Studies too.
    -Cameron Stone