Visits from Karen Longwell, Linda Goldie and Hugh Parker – all from Port Hope

It has been a very busy couple of weeks but am so proud and happy to have been visited by great friends and to involve them directly in our projects.  Imagination is one thing – seeing is another.  Karen Longwell is a photojournalist and I am just so amazed at her abilities to capture the perfect moments.  I am going to have to break this posting into a number of smaller ones – there are just so many wonderful pictures.  We will start with day 1 of their first village trip.

Hugh, Linda, Mike and I are loading the three trucks, getting ready for a big trip

Hugh, Linda, Mike and I are loading the three trucks, getting ready for a big trip.  Karen Longwell helped too – in addition to taking this picture.

First stop was to unload 25 water filter systems - notice the dedication by our wonderful volunteers!

First stop was to unload 25 water filter systems – notice the dedication by our wonderful volunteers! Photo by Karen Longwell who helped as well.

As we were driving to Nong Khiaw,planting rice was in full swing - Karen, you really know how to capture the moments.

As we were driving to Nong Khiaw,planting rice was in full swing – Karen, you really know how to capture the moments.

We loaded two boats and delivered to a village that has been asking for water filters for over two years.  We are still 455 units behind in our targets.

We loaded two boats and delivered to a village that has been asking for water filters for over two years. We are still 455 units behind in our targets.  photo by Karen Longwell.

The entire village went to work by bringing the water filters up the steep river bank

The entire village went to work by bringing the water filters up the steep river bank – photo by Karen Longwell

This little guy was so eager to help!  He just grabbed a stand and ran up the bank faster than any of us could climb...without carrying anything.  Nobody pushed him into helping either - he just had to get involved.

This little guy was so eager to help! He just grabbed a stand and ran up the bank faster than any of us could climb…without carrying anything. Nobody pushed him into helping either – he just had to get involved. Photo courtesy of Karen Longwell.

I continue to be impressed how well the kids are looked after.

I continue to be impressed how well the kids are looked after. photo by Karen Longwell

Kids love to see their pictures on the camera playback.

Kids love to see their pictures on the camera playback.  photo by Karen Longwell

I hate to think what that hole was used for at one time....probably a latrine

I hate to think what that hole was used for at one time….probably a latrine

Villager forming a knife - it is a solid piece of metal and he is holding the top of it just  a few inches from the glow - my skin would have peeled off!

Villager forming a knife – it is a solid piece of metal and he is holding the top of it just a few inches from the glow – my skin would have peeled off!  Thanks Karen

Needless to say I suppose that the two chiefs were thrilled to receive water filters for the entire village.

Needless to say I suppose that the two chiefs were thrilled to receive water filters for the entire village.

Our resting place for the night and the last tourist outpost to get a decent meal. I have been here dozens of times but Karen managed to capture this majestic view.

Our resting place for the night and the last tourist outpost to get a decent meal. I have been here dozens of times but Karen managed to capture this majestic view.

Big day planned ahead for us.  This is the first boat to carry supplies, furniture and signs to Hat Kham Village - Second boat took our wonderful guests along with the governor, head of Education and other dignitaries.

Big day planned ahead for us. This is the first boat to carry supplies, furniture and signs to Hat Kham Village – Second boat took our wonderful guests along with the governor, head of Education and other dignitaries.  photo by Karen Longwell

Wow - what a welcoming committee - the kids lined the river bank followed by the villagers lining the path to the school grounds

Wow – what a welcoming committee – the kids lined the river bank followed by the villagers lining the path to the school grounds

The Governor led the way to celebrate theofficial opening of Hat Kham School.

The Governor led the way to celebrate theofficial opening of Hat Kham School.

Linda inspects one of the nameplates with their childrens names on one of the new tables that she and Hugh sponsored for the kids at Hat Kham school.  Yes, it brought tears of happiness.

Linda inspects one of the nameplates with their childrens names on one of the new tables that she and Hugh sponsored for the kids at Hat Kham school. Yes, it brought tears of happiness.

Kids waiting patiently to perform for us.  Great Shot Karen

Kids waiting patiently to perform for us. Great Shot Karen

Ready and waiting.  These kids had exams coming up the next day too!

Ready and waiting. These kids had exams coming up the next day too!

Hugh trys his hand at Patong while waiting for my boat to arrive - we were supposed to get there BEFORE the governor but there were just too many stops along the way.

Hugh trys his hand at Patong while waiting for my boat to arrive – we were supposed to get there BEFORE the governor but there were just too many stops along the way.

They sure went to a lot of work to show their respect for our support.

They sure went to a lot of work to show their respect for our support.

We were all provided with a hand made Lao shirt that included stitching saying 'from Hat Kham Village'  in English!

We were all provided with a hand made Lao shirt that included stitching saying ‘from Hat Kham Village’ in English!

Our camera people behind the scenes - Karen of course is taking pictures of them!

Our camera people behind the scenes – Karen of course is taking pictures of them!

Baci is very spiritual and performed in our honour.  Although part of the ceremony is a bit  wild with so many people trying to put cotton strings (along with prayers) on our wrists at the same time.

Baci is very spiritual and performed in our honour, although part of the ceremony is a bit wild with so many people trying to put cotton strings (along with prayers) on our wrists at the same time.

Part 2 of this update will follow soon.

 

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One thought on “Visits from Karen Longwell, Linda Goldie and Hugh Parker – all from Port Hope

  1. Steve,
    What a great visual log of the work done by your team and of course the village people and children. The wait can be a long time for some supplies, but I love the fact that no one is impatient. Their excitement must be palpable. The photos are a great representation of the people and their joy!
    Hope you got my email about the village to visit. I presume you are so busy you hardly have time to eat! I have some Laos contacts in San Diego who have just visited and have helped young monks for some time, in Luang Prabang which helps me as I stay there and visit other villages.
    Take care, keep well and send your emails.
    Thanks

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