Project Sekong 2013: Lao Children Learn By Doing And Are Assigned Work At An Early Age.

February 28, 2013
Project Sekong 2013: Lao Children Learn By Doing And Are Assigned Work At An Early Age.

It must be difficult for Lao parents who migrate to the west, to establish reasonable boundaries for their children. In Laos, there is little observance (or even understanding) of the concept of “childhood” as we know it in America. People here are young or old, big or small, but youth are not assumed to...
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Project Sekong 2013: Leprosy, once known as Hansen’s Disease, can be cured but some fear the stigma so they delay treatment

February 26, 2013
Project Sekong 2013: Leprosy, once known as Hansen’s Disease, can be cured but some fear the stigma so they delay treatment

It’s especially heart-breaking to meet people in Laos who have lost limbs or vision to leprosy (the illness previously called Hansen’s Disease). Heart-breaking because victims of this disease, if treated promptly, can be spared its ravages. Patients undergoing treatment, consume three different kinds of antibiotics over a six to twelve month period. The earlier...
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Project Sekong 2013: People Often Ask Us For Help Because There’s No Other Help To Be Found

February 24, 2013
Project Sekong 2013: People Often Ask Us For Help Because There’s No Other Help To Be Found

After we move into a village and set up camp, word spreads quickly that an aid group has arrived. People who are desperate for help often find their way to us in the hope that we might have knowledge or resources that can improve their lives. In the past we’ve been approached by people...
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Project Sekong 2013: Two Different Approaches To Clearing Unexploded Ordnance

February 20, 2013
Project Sekong 2013: Two Different Approaches To Clearing Unexploded Ordnance

There are, basically, two kinds of unexploded ordnance (UXO) clearance. The form that probably comes most readily to mind is “area clearance,” in which technicians sweep an area with metal detectors, searching for ordnance. From a distance the techs might well appear to be using equipment similar to that sold on the consumer market....
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Project Sekong 2013: Some pay a premium price for a lucky phone number. I just want one I can remember.

February 18, 2013
Project Sekong 2013: Some pay a premium price for a lucky phone number. I just want one I can remember.

I’m comforted by the research that shows that, like me, a great many Americans struggle to remember their phone numbers and passwords. Apparently the only password used more frequently than 123456 is the word “password” itself. When I bought my SIM card for my Lao cell phone I rifled through a tall stack of...
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Project Sekong 2013: Yai, our interpreter for seven years, finds a way to rejoin our team. But…are we lucky to have him?

February 16, 2013
Project Sekong 2013: Yai, our interpreter for seven years, finds a way to rejoin our team. But…are we lucky to have him?

I was just about to begin interviews to hire a new interpreter when I got a call from my long-time sidekick Yai: he announced that he had worked out an arrangement with his new employer and would again join our team when we head south to Sekong.  He’ll take a leave to help me...
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Project Sekong 2013: Do We Share Our Camp With The Pigs Or Do They Share Their Home With Us?

February 14, 2013
Project Sekong 2013: Do We Share Our Camp With The Pigs Or Do They Share Their Home With Us?

Last year when we set up camp in Sekong, we boldly attempted to keep the village pigs in their place which, from our point of view, was any place of their choosing except our camp. We underestimated how persistent pigs can be. They were constantly around, rarely close enough to catch a boot in...
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Project Sekong 2013: No Village Can Be A Healthy Village Without Clean Water

February 12, 2013
Project Sekong 2013: No Village Can Be A Healthy Village Without Clean Water

There are places in Laos that get more than eighty inches of rain a year, and the Lao countryside is laced with rivers and streams. Still, many villages do not have a dependable source of clean drinking water. The World Health Organization estimates that forty per cent of the Lao people drink water from...
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Project Sekong 2013: Thank Goodness That For This Disfigured Man, Love Is Blind

February 10, 2013
Project Sekong 2013: Thank Goodness That For This Disfigured Man, Love Is Blind

The man pictured here was horribly disfigured as a consequence of a disease called Noma.  As a child he developed an infection in his mouth that eventually became gangrenous.  By the time the disease ran its course both of his cheeks had been eaten away by rampant infection. Ninety percent of all children who...
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