GSL Volunteers Arrive in Laos!

Note: GSL Volunteers Nugroho and Ben arrived in Laos in August, 2015

We would like to talk to you about a beautiful place called Laos.

We are YALTERS in the Lao PDR; our names are Nugroho, from Indonesia, and Ben, from the U.S. For the last three weeks, we have experienced many different foods such as sticky rice, bamboo soup, papaya salad and noodles.

Mostly every meal is served with sticky rice and is usually very spicy!

When we eat, we eat with family. It is a good time to bond with family and talk about how our lives are going.


A typical lunch for us is “Khao Piack” noodle soup.

During our experience, we have visited many beautiful Buddhist temples. It has been eye opening to see gorgeous architecture, statues and paintings. We have seen temples that allow tourists while worship is happening.

Our host families took us to eat at an elephant park where they offered elephant rides. After we ate bamboo soup, we bought tickets and rode elephants around the park. That was our first time riding elephants and hopefully won’t be our last.


Ana, Long, Nunuk and Ben at the top of Patuxai

Our friends Ana and Long, who are IVEP’ers going to Canada this year, drove us to Patuxai, a large cement arch that was supposed to be made into a runway. We climbed to the top and took many pictures together and of the beautiful view.

Next we drove to Pha That Luang, a large Buddhist stupa where many people pray.

That Luang is usually regarded as the most important national monument in Laos. According to the Lao people, That Luang was originally built as a Hindu temple in the 3rd century.

that luang

Nunuk taking a picture of Pha That Luang

Afterwards, they drove us to a water park near the Mekong River. We had a great time talking to Ana and Long about Lao culture while swimming and relaxing.

During our orientation, we spent a whole day with two IVEP alumni, Kai and Zambee. They drove us to Wat Xieng Khuan, a park in Vientiane filled with many Buddhist and Hindu religious statues. It is also considered a Buddhist temple or “wat”. We walked around together admiring the statues’ details. We could walk around and look at the statues, but we knew not to climb any of them because they still have value in each respected religion.

xieng khuan

Ben, Nunuk and Zambee standing at Wat Xieng Khuan

We have enjoyed our education throughout orientation.

We have learned more about Laos in the last few weeks than we have in our entire lives.

There is so much history surrounding Laos and we encourage everyone to research as much as they can. We have met so many great people who are eager to help us and teach us Lao customs. Laos is a beautiful place with great people and we are excited for the wonderful year ahead of us!


IVEP alumnus Kai, and current YALTers Ben, and Nunuk on the viewing balcony at Wat Xieng Khuan

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February Visitors: Ron and Sally Jo

Ron looking through boxes of documents (from MCC Laos post on Ron and Sally Jo's blog)

Ron looking through boxes of documents (from “MCC Laos” post on Ron and Sally Jo’s blog)

This is a little late in arriving, because things are always busy at the Vientiane office. Back in February we had the pleasure of welcoming Ron and Sally Jo to Laos. They came to help sort through old MCC documents deciding what needed to be kept, thrown out, or sent to the home office. Making quick work of it, they also reduced our aged and ever accumulating library.  You can link below to their blog posts about their time here in Laos, they took  a lot of pictures 🙂

February 18 Sites in Vientiane

February 21 MCC Laos

February 23 Luang Prabang

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Soccer: MCC team vs Partner team

Even in this soccer game (during MCC staff meeting in Tha Thom) MCC  couldn’t help being with their partners rather than against. The team made up of government partner staff won in score with a few of their goals being accidentally made by MCC staff members. The joke was then made later that we can’t help but support our partners in everything 🙂

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40 Years in 40 Minutes

Check out our new “mcclao40” blog Celebrating 40 years in Laos! Also check out the history book pages under the main menu!

MCC Laos, 40th Anniversary


Click on “photos from the MCC Lao Archives” below and you will be linked to a place where you can download a Power Point slide show. The slide show is curated photos from MCC Laos’ archives over the past 40 years.  When played automatically the slideshow is about 40 minutes long.

Photos from the MCC Lao Archives

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Enough for the Whole Year: Canadian Foodgrains Bank and MCC Working Towards Food Security

couple's picture

“I use to grow rice by a technique that I have used for many years. I improved my technique by using what I have learned from training provided by MCC; like rice seed selection, adding compost to seed bed, transplanting young seedling at 18-22 days, and spraying BioExtract. This year I harvested 125 bags of rice, about 6.625 kg (4.7 t/ha). It is enough food for my 7 family members to eat all year long.” – Sy Phommachan

Sy Phommachan, 37, is a rice growing group leader and she provided technical assistance to 16 families in her village. She is good model for other families on organic rice growing to increase the rice yield. She grows rice to feed their family and cash crops.

She was born in Phonsavan, Xiengkhouang province. In 1996,  her father  moved the family because he was appointed as a soldier to work in Namlong, Xaysomboun province. Later she married Bounma Phommachan and has lived in Namlong village until now. They have 5 children.

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Learning Life Skills to Influence a Community

as part of a report for Mittapab Peace Dedicated 


Daophasouk (wearing the red shirt) is talking with her partner to open their minds during the first training at Village Focus International Photo by Soumitta

Miss Daophasouk or Miss Dao, is 22 years old and she is a Mittapab volunteer. Now she is studying for her fourth year and final year at the National University of Laos majoring in law and political science. She lives with her family in Tadthong village, Sikhothabong district, Vietiane capital city. There are four people in her family: her father, mother, herself and her younger brother.

In her free time she likes to listen to music and read, but her favorite activity is sleeping.  She also likes to dance Lao traditional dance in a dance group. She enjoys eating bamboo soup and salad. Her favorite colors are blue and yellow.  In the future, she would like to help support her family and she would also like to be a lawyer, “so I can influence at-risk people or people experiencing injustice or even the lawyers who act with injustice,” says Daophasouk.

ນາງ ດາວພະສຸກ ພົມເພັດ ຫຼື ຮ້ອງຊື່ຫຼີ້ນວ່າ: ດາວ ກະໄດ້, ດາວ ມີອາຍຸ 22 ປີ. ເປັນອາສາສະໝັກ ຄົນໜຶ່ງທີ່ ຖືກຄັດ ເລຶອກເຂົ້າມາຮ່ວມທີມ ຄູຝຶກ ຂອງກຸ່ມມິດຕະພາບຂອງພວກເຮົາ, ເຊິ່ງປັດຈຸບັນ ດາວ ກຳລັງສຶກສາຢູ່ ປີ 4 ເຊີ່ງແມ່ນປີ ສຸດທ້າຍ ຂອງ ຄະນະ ນິຕິສາດ ແລະ ລັດຖະສາດ, ມະຫາວິທະຍາໄລແຫ່ງຊາດລາວ,   ລາວເອງ ອາໃສຢູ່ກັບຄອບຄົວຢູ່ນຳກັນມີ 4 ຄົນຄື: ພໍ່, ແມ່, ນ້ອງເອງ ແລະ ນ້ອງຊາຍ; ປັດຈຸບັນດາວ ແລະ ຄອບຄົວ ອາໄສຢູ່ບ້ານ ຕາດທອງ, ເມືອງ ສີໂຄດຕະບອງ, ນະຄອນຫຼວງ ວຽງຈັນ, ໃນເວລາຫວ່າງ ລາວມັກຟັງເພງ, ອ່ານນິທານ ແລະ ມັກທີ່ສຸດແມ່ນນອນ. ນອກນີ້ ລາວຍັງມັກຟ້ອນແບບພື້ນເມືອງລາວ ແລະ ເຕັ້ນເປັນທີມ, ສ່ວນເລື່ອງອາຫານນັ້ນ ລາວກໍ່ມັກກິນແກງໝໍ່ໄມ້ ແລະ ຍຳສະຫຼັດ. ສີທີ່ລາວມັກ ແມ່ນສີທະເລ, ສີເຫຼືອງ ແລະ ສີຟ້າ. ແລະ ໃນອະນາຄົດ ລາວຢາກເຮັດວຽກຫາເງິນລ້ຽງຄອບຄົວ ແລະ  ຢາກເປັນນັກກົດໝາຍ

“ຂ້ອຍຈະເຮັດໃຫ້ເກີດມີຄວາມຍຸດຕິທຳກັບທຸກໆຄົນ ທີ່ເຄີຍພົບກັບຄວາມບໍ່ຍຸດທິທຳມາກ່ອນ ຫຼື ແມ່ນກະທັ້ງນັກກົດ ໝາຍບາງຄົນທີ່ຍັງບໍ່ມີຄວາມຍຸດຕິທຳກໍ່ເຊັ່ນດຽວກັນ” ດາວພະສຸກກ່າວ

Daophasouk is very funny and can talk with anyone.  She likes to talk a lot, it would be very strange if she became mute.

“After joining Mittapab I feel that I have a changed in many ways from before.  I never knew  about life skills to apply to my life; behaving in a way to live with another people or another environment But, after I became a volunteer with Mittapab group I learned how to live with many people. We shared our experiences and became aware of the importance of listening to everyone, no matter what they have to say.

During my volunteer term with the Mittapab group, I have practiced more in trainer skills and I feel that it’s very helpful for me and everyone.”

“ພາຍຫຼັງທີ່ໄດ້ເຂົ້າຮ່ວມກັບກຸ່ມມິດຕະພາບແລ້ວ ນ້ອງຮູ້ສຶກມີການປ່ຽນແປງຫຼາຍດ້ານ, ໃນເມື່ອກ່ອນນ້ອງອາດຍັງບໍ່ຮູ້ ທັກສະໃນການໃຊ້ຊີວິດໃຫ້ເໝາະສົມກັບຕົນເອງ ແລະ ອາດຈະປັບປຸງຕົນເອງໃຫ້ເຂົ້າກັບຄົນອື່ນ ຫຼື ສະພາບແວດລ້ອມໄດ້ຍາກ, ເມື່ອໄດ້ເຂົ້າມາເປັນອາສາ ກຸ່ມມິດຕະພາບ ໄດ້ຮູ້ຈັກການໃຊ້ຊີວິດຮ່ວມກັບໝູ່ຫຼາຍຄົນ, ໄດ້ແບ່ງປັນປະສົບການ ແລະ ຮູ້ເຖິິງຄວາມ ສຳຄັນຂອງການຮັບຟັງຄົນອື່ນ ບໍ່ວ່າຈະເປັນເລື່ອງໃດກໍ່ຕາມ”


ໃນຊ່ວງທີ່ເປັນອາສາສະໝັກກັບກຸ່ມມິດຕະພາບນັ້ນ ນ້ອງກໍ່ໄດ້ເຝິກຝົນຫຼາຍທັກສະຂອງການເປັນຜູ້ນຳ ແລະ ຮູ້ສຶກວ່າ ມັນເປັນປະໂຫຍດຫຼາຍສຳລັບນ້ອງເອງ ແລະ ຄົນອື່ນໆ”


Daophasouk (Fourth from the right) participating the warm up activity before starting the first training at VFI. Photo by Sounita

Daophasouk (Fourth from the right) participating the warm up activity before starting the first training at VFI. Photo by Sounita

“Although I’ve participated with many activity before, I think that this activity with the Mittaphab group is a good challenge.  Each training topic is very helpful to apply to my daily life and to also apply with another people. I like the steps of the training. The facilitator doesn’t rush and brainstorms to think of more detail in each problem by using real experiences. We discuss it so that we can imagine it ourselves.

I applied the lesson we learned from each training in my daily life as much as I can. I also think that the analysis topic is very good and important for me, because we must analyze every word before we speak it from our mouth.

The activities we’ve completed, we have done a very good job. The team had prepared and planed our work and worked with the availability of the volunteer. Every activity was appropriate for us.”

“ເຖິງວ່າ ໃນໄລຍະຜ່ານມານ້ອງກໍ່ເຄີຍໄດ້ເຂົ້າຮ່ວມກິດຈະກຳຫຼາຍບ່ອນແລ້ວ, ແຕ່ກຸ່ມມິດຕະພາບນີ້ ຮູ້ສຶກວ່າເປັນສີ່ງທີ່ ທ້າທາຍດີ ເພາະການຝຶກອົບຮົມແຕ່ລະຫົວຂໍ້ ທີ່ຝຶກນັ້ນ ມີປະໂຫຍດ ແລະ ສາມາດນໍາໄປໃຊ້ໃນຊີວິດປະຈຳວັນໄດ້ ແລະ ຍັງນຳໄປ ໃຊ້ໄດ້ກັບຄົນອື່ນໄດ້ອີກ. ນ້ອງເອງມັກໃນເວລາທີ່ມີການຝຶກອົບຮົມທາງທີມງານ ຈະຝຶກໄປເທື່ອລະໜ້ອຍ, ບໍ່ຟ້າວຝັ່ງ ແລະ ໃຊ້ ການປຶກສາຫາລື ບັນຫາໃຫ້ລະອຽດ ໂດຍທີ່ເອົາບັນຫາໃນຊີວິດຈິງມາສົນທະນາ ເຮັດໃຫ້ສາມາດຄິດເຫັນພາບໄດ້”

ນ້ອງໄດ້ນຳເອົາບົດຮຽນທີ່ໄດ້ຈາກການເຝິກອົບຮົມມາປະຍຸກໃຊ້ກັບຊີວິດປະຈຳວັນຂອງຕົນເອງເທົ່າທີ່ຈະເຮັດໄດ້, ນ້ອງຄິດ ວ່າ ການວິເຄາະບັນຫານັ້ນແມ່ນມີຄວາມສຳຄັນຫຼາຍສຳລັບຕົນເອງ


ກິດຈະກຳທີ່ເຮັດຜ່ານມາດີແລ້ວ ຊື່ງການປະຕິບັດກິດຈະກຳແຕ່ລະຄັ້ງ ບໍ່ໄດ້ມີຜົນກະທົບຕໍ່ການຮຽນ, ທາງທີມງານໄດ້ກະ ກຽມ ແລະ ວາງແຜນຕາມສະພາບຄວາມເປັນຈິງຂອງອາສາສະໝັກ, ກິດຈະກຳທຸກຢ່າງແມ່ນຖືກຕ້ອງ ແລະ ເໝາະສົມສຳຫຼັບ ໄວໜຸ່ມທີ່ເປັນອາສາສະໝັກ ຄືພວກນ້ອງ.

Daophasouk  (first from the right in front line) participating an international peace day celebration at Seththa school.Photo by Vanna

Daophasouk (first from the right in front line) participating an international peace day celebration at Seththa school. Photo by Vanna

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Student Perspective: I Learned to Show Gratitude

as part of the report for the Sang Thong Peer Education project IMG_0173 Hello, My name is Miss Pavina Phomkhamhueng (pu-kam-heu-ang).Now I’m 15 years old and I study in grade 6 at the Paktorn high school.

I live at Paktorn village, Sang Thong district, Vientiane capital city. My family has five people: my mother, myself, my two younger sisters and my cousin. In my free time I like to read and do my home work. I also like to play a Lao folk musical instrument, Khean (made of bamboo) and helping my mother to do house work. My favourite food is Lao traditional food such as boiled bamboo, bamboo soup, Laap and chili sauce.  My favorite colors are red and blue.  My dream is to become a nurse.

ສະບາຍດີ, ນ້ອງເອງມີຊື່ວ່າ ນາງ ປາວີນາ  ພົມຄຳເຮືອງ, ນ້ອງເອງອາຍຸ 15 ປີ ຮຽນຢູ່ຊັ້ນມໍ 6 ຂອງ ໂຮງຮຽນ ມັດທະຍົມສົມບູນ ປາກຕອນ. ນ້ອງອາໄສຢູ່ບ້ານ ປາກຕອນ, ເມືອງ ສັງທອງ, ນະຄອນຫຼວງວຽງຈັນ.ໃນຄອບຄົວນ້ອງເອງແມ່ນມີ 5 ຄົນ ຄື ແມ່,ນ້ອງເອງ, ນ້ອງສາວ 2 ຄົນ ແລະ ມີລູກປ້າມາຢູ່ນໍາ 1 ຄົນ ແລະ ໃນເວລາວ່າງໆນັ້ນນ້ອງມັກອ່ານໜັງສື, ເຮັດວຽກບ້ານທີ່ຄູເອົາໃຫ້,  ມັກຫຼິ້ນດົນຕຣີພື້ນເມືອງລາວ (ມັກເປົ່າແຄນ) ແລະ ເຮັດວຽກເຮືອນຊ່ວຍແມ່.ນ້ອງມັກກິນອາຫານແບບລາວໆເຊັ່ນ: ຕົ້ມໜໍ່ໄມ້, ແກງໜໍ່, ລາບ, ແຈ່ວບອງ. ນ້ອງເປັນຄົນມັກສີແດງ ແລະ ສີຟ້າ, ໃນອະນາຄົດນັ້ນນ້ອງຢາກເປັນໝໍ.

All the members of my family used to live together. It’s very sad that my father had passed away when I was seven months old.  When I was ten months old my mother took me to live with my grandmother who lives in Xamnue, a district in Houaphan province. I was always ill when I was a baby and I spent most of time living with my grandmother from ten months of  age until age 13. I lived with her in Xamnue for five years, then we moved to live in Vientiane. When I was 13 my grand mother had to take me back to live with my mother be cause she was too old and became sick, so I’ve lived with my mother until now.

ຄອບຄົວນ້ອງເອງເຄີຍຢູ່ພ້ອມໜ້າພ້ອມຕາກັນມາ ແລະ ມັນກໍ່ເປັນເລື່ອງເສົ້າທີ່ຜູ້ເປັນພໍ່ຕ້ອງມາຕາຍຈາກໄປເມື່ອຕອນທີ່ນ້ອງຫາເກີດມາໄດ້ພຽງ 7 ເດືອນເທົ່ານັ້ນເອງ, ພໍນ້ອງມີອາຍຸໄດ້ 10 ເດືອນ ແມ່ຂອງນ້ອງ ໄດ້ເອົານ້ອງເອງມາຢູ່ກັບແມ່ເຖົ້າ(ແມ່ຕູ້) ລ້ຽງຢູ່ທີ່ ເມືອງ ຊໍາເໜືອ, ແຂວງຫົວພັນ. ເພາະຊ່ວງຍັງນ້ອຍ ນ້ອງມັກເຈັບເປັນຕະຫຼອດ, ການດໍາລົງຊີວິດສ່ວນຫຼາຍແມ່ນຢູ່ກັບແມ່ເຖົ້າ ແຕ່ 10 ເດືອນ ຫາ 13 ປີ, ແຕ່ຊ່ວງໄລຍະຢູ່ກັບແມ່ເຖົ້າ ນ້ອງໄດ້ອາໃສຢູ່ຊໍາເໜືອ ເປັນເວລາ 5 ປີ, ຈາກນັ້ນ ແມ່ເຖົ້າກໍ່ພານ້ອງມາອາໃສຢູ່ທີ່ ວຽງຈັນ. ແຕ່ເມື່ອເວລາທີ່ນ້ອງໄດ້ອາຍຸ 13 ປີ ແມ່ເຖົ້າກໍ່ໄດ້ໄປອາໃສຢູ່ນຳປ້າ ໃນນະຄອນຫຼວງວຽງຈັນ ເນື່ອງຈາກແມ່ເຖົ້າບໍ່ສະບາຍແຮງເພາະເພີ່ນເປັນພະຍາດຂັ້ນສຸດທ້າຍ ຈຶ່ງໄດ້ເອົານ້ອງໃຫ້ມາຢູ່ນຳແມ່ຜູ້ທີ່ກຳເນີດນ້ອງ ຈົນເຖີງປັດຈຸບັນ.

I used to think that to be a good child we can do something to show gratitude to our parents at a later time, once we grow up and can take care of ourselves, then we can show gratitude.

ນ້ອງເອງເຄີຍຄິດວ່າ “ການທີ່ຈະເປັນລູກທີ່ດີ ຫຼື ຕອບບຸນຄຸນແມ່ ແມ່ນຕອບແທນຍາມໄດ້ກໍ່ໄດ້ເຊັ່ນ: ຕອບແທນຢາມທີ່ເຮົາໃຫຍ່, ຫາລ້ຽງຕົນເອງໄດ້ກ່ອນ ແລ້ວ ຈຶ່ງຕອບແທນໃນເມື່ອໜ້າ”

I had an opportunity to participate in the moral activity arranged by the education support and the life skills for youth project at this time. It is a very good activity because it causes the young people to become aware of their life. They like to go play and behave badly, they are gangsters and focused on material things. These activities have changed their mind and conduct, they have more respect and listen to their parents. They don’t use any drugs, alcohol, even a cigarette. They also learned about the importance of the family and how to show respect to their parent or grandparent. 

ສຳລັບນ້ອງເອງທີ່ໄດ້ເຂົ້າຮ່ວມກິດຈະກຳ ເຜີຍແຜ່ສິນນະທຳ ຂອງໂຄງການ ສົ່ງເສີມການສຶກສາ ແລະ ຮຽນຮູ້ທັກສະຊີວິດໄວໜຸ່ມ ໃນຄັ້ງນີ້ ເປັນກິດຈະກຳທີ່ດີ ເພາະວ່າໄດ້ປູກຈິດສຳນຶກໃຫ້ໄວລຸ້ນສະໄໝໃໝ່ ທີ່ເຂົາເຈົ້າມັກໄປທ່ຽວຫຼິ້ນ, ປະພຶດຕົນເອງໄປໃນທາງທີ່ບໍ່ດີ, ເສເພ, ຫຼົງໄຫຼໄປນຳຍຸກສະໄໝ ໃຫ້ພວກໄວລຸ້ນ ໄດ້ມີແນວຄິດທີ່ຫັນປ່ຽນ ມາຟັງຄຳພໍ່ແລະແມ່ສັ່ງສອນ, ເພື່ອໃນອານາຄົດຈະໄດ້ເປັນລູກທີ່ດີຂອງພໍ່ແມ່ ແລະ ສັງຄົມ, ບໍ່ໄປຕິດສິ່ງເສບຕິດຕ່າງໆ ເຊັ່ນ: ຕິດເຫຼົ້າ, ຢາສູບ, ຢາເສບຕິດ ຕ່າງໆ. ນອກນັ້ນ ແມ່ນໄດ້ຮັບຟັງ ກ່ຽວກັບການປູກຈິດສຳນິກກ່ຽວກັບການຮັກຄອບຄົວ, ການເຄົາລົບແລະນັບຖື ຮູ້ບຸນຄຸນຂອງພໍ່ ແລະ ແມ່ ເປັນຕົ້ນ.

After I listened to the team who came to work in my school, I know that we should not wait for a time to be a good person and to love our friends and  family. We can do it now, especially the gratitude. I will also use the etiquette skill in this training to apply with my mother, my family, my friends and other older people. I used to speak to them or treat them with less respect. 

ພາຍຫຼັງທີ່ນ້ອງໄດ້ເຂົ້າຮ່ວມການຮັບຟັງຈາກທີມງານທີ່ລົງມາເຜີຍແຜ່ຄັ້ງນີ້ ມັນໄດ້ເຮັດໃຫ້ນ້ອງຮູ້ວ່າ “ການທີ່ເຮົາຈະເປັນຄົນດີ, ຮັກໝູ່ເພື່ອນ, ຮັກຄອບຄົວ ບໍ່ຈຳເປັນຕ້ອງຖ້າເວລາ, ບໍ່ຕ້ອງຖ້າຕອນທີ່ເຮົາໃຫຍ່” ເຮົາຕ້ອງເຮັດຄວາມດີຕັ້ງແຕ່ມື້ນີ້ເປັນຕົ້ນໄປ ໂດຍສະເພາະການຕອບແທນພະຄຸນແມ່. ແລະ ນ້ອງຍັງຈະນຳເອົາມາລະຍາດຂອງລູກທີ່ດີ ທີ່ໄດ້ຈາກການເຝິກົອົບຮົມ ໄປໃຊ້ນຳແມ່ ແລະ ຄອບຄົວ, ໝູ່ເພື່ອນ, ຜູ້ອາວຸໂສ ເພາະຜ່ານມານ້ອງມັກເຮັດບໍ່ດີຕໍ່ກັບແມ່ ແລະ ຫຼາຍໆຄົນ

I was very glad to have an opportunity to participate in this activity.  It’s a very good activity and in the future, I would like to have an activity every week to give a good lesson like this to other people. I also would like the team to make this content as a large display for showing the audience to know what is the mother’s responsibility and what is the child’s; or maybe it could be a short movie about love in the family or among parent and children.

ສໍາຫຼັບນ້ອງເອງຮູ້ສຶກດີໃຈທີ່ໄດ້ເຂົ້າຮ່ວມຮັບຟັງ ເພາະເປັນກິດຈະກໍາທີ່ດີ, ໃນອານາຄົດນ້ອງຢາກໃຫ້ມີທຸກອາທິດຂອງການເຜີຍແຜ່ ແລະ ຢາກໃຫ້ເຜີຍແຜ່ໃຫ້ຫຼາຍຄົນໄດ້ຮັບຮູ້, ໃນອານາຄົດ ນ້ອງຢາກໃຫ້ມີການສາຍເປັນຈໍພາບໃຫຍ່ໆ ທີ່ສາຍໃຫ້ຜູ້ເຂົ້າຮ່ວມໄດ້ເຫັນກ່ຽວກັບ ໜ້າທີ່ຂອງແມ່ແມ່ນຫຍັງ, ໜ້າທີ່ຂອງລູກທີ່ດີຄວນເປັນແບບໃດ ຫຼື ອາດຈະເປັນລະຄອນສັ້ນທີ່ກ່ຽວກັບຄວາມຮັກຂອງຄອບຄົວ, ຄວາມຮັກຂອງແມ່ທີ່ມີຕໍ່ລູກ.

I want to thank to this project and MCC, especially the team who gave me an opportunity to learn and know that we must begin to be grateful to our parents from today, in a time we still live together. We can do something small to make them happy and do as much as we can to make them proud.

ສຸດທ້າຍ ນ້ອງເອງຢາກຂອບໃຈ ມາຍັງໂຄງການ, ອົງການ MCC ໂດຍສະເພາະແມ່ນທີມງານ ທີ່ໃຫ້ພວກນ້ອງໄດ້ມີໂອກາດ ຮຽນຮູ້ ວ່າບຸນຄຸນແມ່ເຮົາຕ້ອງຕອບແທນນັບແຕ່ເວລານີ້ເປັນຕົ້ນໄປ ໃນຕອນທີ່ເຮົາຍັງຢູ່ນຳຄອບຄົວ ແລະ ມີໂອກາດ, ເຮົາອາດຈະເຮັດສິ່ງນ້ອຍໆ ທີ່ແມ່ເຫັນແລ້ວມີຄວາມສຸກ ແລະ ເຮັດໃຫ້ພໍ່ແລະແມ່ ຫຼື ຄອບຄົວພູມໃຈໃນຕົວເຮົາເອງ.

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Village Mediation and Conflict Analysis Trainings

Members of Village Mediation Units, responsible for solving conflicts at the village level in Laos, receive training from MCC Laos on mediation and conflict analysis. MCC’s Khamsa Homsabath, standing on the right, helps a group learn how to use the problem tree to understand the root causes of conflicts.

“The conflict tree helped give me a clearer understanding of the conflict. I was able to separate the causes of the conflict from the actions that we observed.”

-Somphone Sistipan

(Third from the left), Nahoy village, Xiengkhouang Province

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Hmong New Year Tradition in Ha Sip Sawng ບຸນປະເພນີປີໃໝ່ຂອງຊົນເຜົ່າມົ້ງ ທີ່ບ້ານຫຼັກ52

-By Lena Vang, SALT participant

ໂດຍ: ລີນາ ວ່າງ ຈາກໂຄງການ SALT

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December has been a busy, hectic and exciting month! Even though it was the first Christmas and New Year celebration away from my families in the states, I had a blast celebrating the holidays here in Lao with my host families and friends. There was a variety of events and things going on that I was able to partake in. One of them was the Hmong New Year (HNY) celebration in Ha Sip Sawng. The HNY in Ha Sip Sawng is the second biggest HNY celebration in Lao. After harvesting, the Hmong people gather together and celebrate the ending of the old year and blessings for another new year. At the HNY there are a lot of activities that goes on; the miss Hmong pageant, people play the balloon dart game, go on carnival rides, eat and most importantly young singles dressed up in their Hmong attire and get together and pov poj (ball toss) in hope of finding a spouse.  The HNY only comes once a year so during this time, the Hmong people always look forward to the fun celebrations, excitement and family gatherings.


ເດືອນທັນວາ ເປັນເດືອນທີ່ຫຍຸ້ງວຽກ ແລະ ໜ້າຕື່ນເຕັ້ນຫຼາຍ. ເຖິງແມ່ນວ່າມັນຈະເປັນຄັ້ງທຳອິດທີ່ຂ້ອຍສະຫຼອງວັນຄຣິສມາດ ແລະ ປີໃໝ່ຢູ່ຫ່າງໄກຈາກຄອບຄົວຂອງຕົນເອງທີ່ສະຫະລັດ, ຂ້ອຍໄດ້ສະຫຼອງວັນພັກຂອງຂ້ອຍຢ່າງເອົາແທ້ເອົາວ່າ ຢູ່ທີ່ປະເທດລາວນີ້ພ້ອມກັບພໍ່ຮັກແມ່ຮັກ ແລະ ບັນດາໝູ່ເພື່ອນ ເຊິ່ງມີຫຼາກຫຼາຍກິດຈະກຳ ແລະ ງານຕ່າງໆທີ່ຂ້ອຍໄດ້ມີໂອກາດເຂົ້າຮ່ວມ. ອັນທີ່ໜຶ່ງກໍ່ແມ່ນງານສະເຫຼີມສະຫຼອງບຸນປີໃໝ່ຂອງຊົນເຜົ່າມົ້ງ (ບຸນກິນຈຽງ) ທີ່ບ້ານຫຼັກ52, ບຸນກິນຈຽງປີນີ້ແມ່ນເປັນຄັ້ງທີ່ສອງແລ້ວ ທີ່ໄດ້ຈັດໃຫ້ມີການສະເຫຼີມສະຫຼອງຢ່າງຍິ່ງໃຫຍ່ໃນປະເທດລາວ. ເຊິ່ງຫຼັງຈາກເກັບກ່ຽວຜົນລະປູກເປັນທີ່ຮຽບຮ້ອຍແລ້ວ ຊາວມົ້ງກໍ່ຈະພ້ອມກັນສະເຫຼີມສະຫຼອງການສົ່ງທ້າຍປີເກົ່າ ແລະ ຕ້ອນຮັບປີໃໝ່ເພື່ອອວຍພອນເຊິ່ງກັນ ແລະ ກັນ. ໃນງານບຸນກິນຈຽງນີ້ແມ່ນໄດ້ມີຫຼາກຫຼາຍກິດຈະກຳໃຫ້ໄດ້ຮັບຊົມເຊັ່ນວ່າ: ການແຫ່ນາງສາວມົ້ງ, ການຊັດໝາກປູມເປົ້າ, ຂີ່ມ້າໝູນ ແລະ ກິນອາຫານຕ່າງໆ… ແຕ່ທີ່ສຳຄັນທີ່ສຸດແມ່ນໜຸ່ມສາວຊາວມົ້ງຈະຕ້ອງແຕ່ງຕົວດ້ວຍຊຸດປະຈຳຊົນເຜົ່າດ້ວຍກັນທັງນັ້ນ ພ້ອມກັບໂປໂຍນໝາກຄອນກັນເປັນຄູ່ ເພື່ອໂອ້ລົມສົນທະນາຊອກຫາຄູ່ຄອງຂອງຕົນ. ບຸນກິນຈຽງແມ່ນຈະມີພຽງຄັ້ງດຽວໃນປີໜຶ່ງໆ ແລະ ຈະຕ້ອງຈັດຂຶ້ນໃນໄລຍະນີ້ເທົ່ານັ້ນ. ເຊິ່ງຊາວມົ້ງຈະຖືວ່າເປັນການຈັດງານມ່ວນຊື່ນລື່ນເລີງ, ສ້າງຄວາມຕື່ນເຕັ້ນ ແລະ ເປັນການເຕົ້າໂຮມຍາດຕິພີ່ນ້ອງສະມາຊິກໃນຄອບຄົວ








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Christmas Reflections: Suksan wan Krismat! ສຸກສັນວັນຄຣິສມາດ

-by Gloria Kristianti, YAMEN! participant

ໂດຍ: ກລໍເຣຍ ກຣິສຕານາ ຈາກໂຄງການ YAMEN

I liked having Christmas experiences in Laos. I joined with the choir at Naxay Church. It is an evangelical church in Vientiane, Laos where I worship every week. The first time when someone from church asked me to joined with choir, I was not really confident because they sang in Lao language and the songs were written in Lao letters. Then, Ellen (one of the SALTers) encouraged me to joined choir and we wrote in “karaoke” or alphabet. That was better. But, my challenge didn’t  stop here. I also can’t sing with block notes because I usually used number notes in Indonesia. I just listened to what song sounded like and I understood. So, we sang about 5 songs and I read all in karaoke. This is the power of listening and trying.

ຂ້ອຍມັກການສະຫຼອງວັນຄຣິສມາດຢູ່ປະເທດລາວຫຼາຍ. ຂ້ອຍໄດ້ເຂົ້າຮ່ວມກັບຮ້ອງເພງປະສານສຽງທີ່ໂບດນາໄຊ. ເຊິ່ງເປັນໂບດຂ່າວປະເສີດແຫ່ງໜຶ່ງໃນວຽງຈັນ ປະເທດລາວ ເຊິ່ງເປັນສະຖານທີ່ຂ້ອຍໄດ້ໄປນະມັດສະການທຸກໆອາທິດ. ຕອນທຳອິດທີ່ມີຄົນມາຊວນໃຫ້ໄປຮ້ອງເພງຮ່ວມກັນນັ້ນ ຂ້ອຍຮູ້ສຶກບໍ່ມີຄວາມໝັ້ນໃຈເລີຍ ເພາະເຂົາເຈົ້າຮ້ອງເປັນພາສາລາວ ແລະ ເນື້ອເພງກໍ່ຍັງຂຽນເປັນພາສາລາວຕື່ມອີກ. ຂະນະນັ້ນ ນາງ ແອເລິນ (ເຊິ່ງເປັນສະມາຊິກຜູ້ໜຶ່ງຈາກໂຄງການ SALT) ກໍ່ໄດ້ລະດົມໃຫ້ຂ້ອຍເຂົ້າຮ່ວມກັບພວກເຂົາ ແລະ ພວກເຮົາກໍ່ໄດ້ຂຽນເນື້ອເພງເປັນພາສາຄາຣາໂອເກະ ເຊິ່ງມັນກໍ່ຊ່ວຍໃຫ້ງ່າຍຂຶ້ນຫຼາຍ ແຕ່ວ່າອຸປະສັກຂອງຂ້ອຍຍັງບໍ່ໝົດພຽງແຕ່ເທົ່ານັ້ນ ຂ້ອຍຍັງບໍ່ສາມາດຮ້ອງໄປຕາມບັນທຶກໂນດເພງຂອງເຂົາເຈົ້າ ເພາະຂ້ອຍມັກຈະຫຼົງກັນກັບນ້ຳເບີໂນດຂອງອິນໂດເນເຊຍ. ຂ້ອຍໄດ້ແຕ່ຟັງວ່າທຳນອງເພງແມ່ນແນວໃດ ແລະ ກໍ່ສາມາດເຂົ້າໃຈໄດ້. ພວກເຮົາຮ້ອງປະມານ 5 ເພງ ແລະ ຂ້ອຍກໍ່ຮ້ອງເພງເຫຼົ່ານັ້ນໃນພາສາຄາຣາໂອເກະທັງໝົດ. ນີ້ຄືຄວາມສຳເລັດຂອງການຟັງ ແລະ ຄວາມພະຍາຍາມ.


The Naxay Church choir sings during Christmas eve celebrations. YAMENer Gloria Kristianti seen front row, fourth from the left; also SALTer Ellen Roth seen middle row, second from the left. Photo via Bird Jittaphong ທີ່ໂບດນາໄຊໄດ້ມີການຮ້ອງເພງປະສານກັນໃນມື້ກ່ອນໜ້າວັນຄຣິສມາດ. ນາງ ກລໍເຣຍ ກຣິສຕານາ ແມ່ນຜູ້ທີ່4ແຖວໜ້ານັບຈາກຊ້າຍມື ແລະ ຜູ້ທີ່2ຂອງແຖວກາງນັບຈາກຊ້າຍເຊັ່ນກັນແມ່ນ ນາງແອເລິນ ພາບຖ່າຍໂດຍ ເບີດ ຈິດຕະພົງ


I didn’t celebrate Christmas both Christmas eve and Christmas day with my host family. My host family went to a funeral because their second Mom passed away on December 24, 2014. That was a sorrow for me and my host family. But then I knew some people from Naxay Church and we have had nice conversation about life and spirituality. I really have interested with two ladies who sang in the Christmas choir with me. We didn’t know each other before but then they were so kind and gave me a Christmas gift. That’s made me felt accepted.

ຂ້ອຍບໍ່ໄດ້ມີໂອກາດສະຫຼອງວັນຄຣິສມາດທັງສອງມື້ກ່ອນແລະມື້ແທ້ນັ້ນກັບພໍ່ຮັກແມ່ຮັກຂອງຂ້ອເລີຍ ເພາະວ່າ ເພີ່ນພາກັນໄປງານສົ່ງສະການແມ່ເຖົ້າຂອງເຂົາເຈົ້າທີ່ເສຍຊີວິດໃນວັນທີ່ 24 ເດືອນທັນວາ 2014 ນີ້ເອງ ເຊິ່ງເປັນເລື່ອງເສົ້າສຳລັບຂ້ອຍ ແລະ ຄອບຄົວພໍ່ແມ່ຮັກຂອງຂ້ອຍ. ແຕ່ພາຍຫຼັງທີ່ຂ້ອຍໄດ້ຮູ້ຈັກກັບຄົນຈາກໂບດນາໄຊ ແລະ ພວກເຮົາກໍ່ໄດ້ມີການສົນທະນາກັນທີ່ດີຫຼາຍກ່ຽວກັບຊີວິດ ແລະ ຈິດວິນຍານ. ຂ້ອຍມີຄວາມສົນໃນຫຼາຍຕໍ່ກັບແມ່ຍິງສອງຄົນທີ່ຮ້ອງເພງຮ່ວມກັນໃນມື້ນັ້ນ, ພວກເຮົາບໍ່ໄດ້ຮູ້ຈັກກັນມາກ່ອນ ແຕ່ເຂົາເຈົ້າກໍ່ໃຈດີຫຼາຍ ແລະ ໄດ້ໃຫ້ຂອງຂັວນວັນຄຣິສມາດແກ່ຂ້ອຍ ເຊິ່ງນັ້ນເອງໄດ້ເຮັດໃຫ້ຂ້ອຍຮູ້ສຶກວ່າໄດ້ຮັບການຍອມຮັບແລ້ວ

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