Back from Laos & Vietnam: Part 1

March 18, 2010
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By Bill Robison International Expeditions' Bill Robison, Director of Product Development, has just returned from leading four groups on our new Laos tour and Vietnam vacation. Bill tells us about the tour, the people and even shares a few photos!

I can hardly believe it but I'm back from Southeast Asia. I want to give you so many details without writing a novel! IE and our guests did some serious good in a little village on the shores of the Mekong River outside Luang Prabang. We provided this village with lots of books for their kids and even helped to fix the roof on the schoolhouse. The principal of the school told me that they needed just $30 to fix the roof on the school.

When guests asked about contributing to the village I told them about the roof and they gave generously. The teacher we gave the money to was absolutely beside himself with joy and gratitude...he had to choke back tears during our visit. Working with the group Big Brother Mouse, we gave the kids books on basic biology and personal hygiene, dinosaur Laos boys with new bookscoloring books with coloring pencils, books on the wildlife of Laos, books on learning to speak English, books with fables, and books about kids in other countries. And they were all in the native language!

Rural Lao children frequently drop out of school after about the third grade so keeping them interested in learning and reading is a major challenge. They absolutely loved the books and gifts from the guests. Both the kids and their teachers wanted me to pass on their thanks to International Expeditions. They have never received this level of contribution or even seen this level of caring.  IE made a big impression on them and those kids just cherished the gifts and books we brought. That is something all of us to be very proud of.

See more of Bill's Laos & Vietnam photos here.