Laos Alumni Testimonials
We just returned from Asia and I wanted to give you some feedback on our experience in Laos. Your program was outstanding.
Kelvin Somphone Seomany was an inspiration and a joy to spend time with. His warmth, ethics and love for his people are apparent at every turn. The projects he selected and balance of free time to work time were the perfect balance for our family. The variation of physical labor on the road and education both at the village, the orphanage and the bookstore were ideal. At my request he also took us to the UXO headquaters which I hope will become a standard part of the Laos week, it was an important piece in our understanding. So often we were struck by the difference of the unique access our involvement with Globe Aware gave us in contrast to the backpackers who seemed to be searching for a way to make genuine connections with the place and people yet not having a means by which to infiltrate beyond surface tourism. Your concept made incredible sense to us on the ground. It really created a universally positive feeling for us as volunteers and for the recipients who are shown kindness and respect. In contrast to the busloads of tourists being hounded by beggars in Cambodia who fostered a culture of begging, we were able to give to the people of Laos in partnership by working side by side with the villagers and preserving their dignity.
Our teenage daughters had the experience of their lives and left enriched beyond what any other vacation could have given them. They worked hard and took pride and pleasure in what they accomplished. They left the children of the village with heavy hearts and with a deep understanding that happiness is not about the excessive materialism of life in America, but rather saw first hand how in extreme poverty it is friendship, family and community that sustains the children of the village.
The remainder of our time in Asia was spent sightseeing historic, cultural, urban and beach environments, yet both when asked said the three days digging a road and playing soccer in Ban Paksi village were the highlight of their trip. Both my husband and I agreed with them.
Thanks for an incredible experience,