Add Your Light……Katang Xieng Solar Project

We are so honoured by receipt of a substantial donation by Add Your Light Foundation who provided us 35 solar panel systems, to light up the huts that had no electricity.  Katang Xieng is the village I mentioned in earlier posts that had no water in the village (and a steep trek to get it), no electricity, no toilets and their school huts looked like they were about to collapse in the next storm.

I suppose it would hard for the villagers to think that a dream was coming true for them.  A few Phlangs (foreigners) show up at their village, take stock of the situation then make a commitment to try to help them.  Would you believe what you were told?  Well I can easily say now that they do have hope.  They originally asked us to help them get water to their village because their requests from the hygiene office in Nong Khiaw hadn’t yet done anything about it.  A short meeting with the office however changed all that.  The hygiene office agreed to send their engineer the very next day to put together engineering diagrams and a formal request to us.  In the meantime, I decided to send up our employee with two hired hands including a student we are sponsoring to the village to install additional solar panels. The decision was made to send them up without me so that I could test the employee (he had been previously trained on the panels) on his abilities and it was also as a cost savings measure for me.  Prices easily doubled when I was around and I hadn’t raised any money for the costs of transportation, accommodation, etc., due to the unexpected donation and the timing of if.  The other reason was that I wasn’t excited about having to stay in the village overnight.

Here are some of the highlights of the village installation but first, here are a couple of examples of the one of the poorest family homes, even though they are ALL poor.

Hard to tell isn't it but it is not uncommon in these huts to walk on a slope when you are inside.

Hard to tell isn’t it but it is not uncommon in these huts to walk on a slope when you are inside.

You can't help but wonder what happens during a rain or wind storm.

You can’t help but wonder what happens during a rain or wind storm.

Leung lends a helping hand to run cable to the lights

Leung lends a helping hand to run cable to the lights

This was Siphan's first shot at running the project on his own.  He did a great job!

This was Siphan’s first shot at running the project on his own. He did a great job!

Oudone (our sponsored student) installs the panel on top of a post that was preinstalled by the villagers.

Oudone (our sponsored student) installs the panel on top of a post that was preinstalled by the villagers.

Ligths...Camera...With some anticipation, Leung completes the wiring of the lights.

Ligths…Camera…With some anticipation, Leung completes the wiring of the lights.

Action....Let there be light, and there was light, thanks to Add Your Light Foundation!

Action….Let there be light, and there was light, thanks to Add Your Light Foundation!

I should note here that the villagers share what they have with each other, which isn’t much.  The guys installed 4 systems but by request, they managed to cover 8 huts.

Now there are a couple of happy guys after the first two installs were completed

Now there are a couple of happy guys after the first two installs were completed

It was a difficult day for them and they were pretty happy it was over.

It was a difficult day for them and they were pretty happy it was over.

Each Family of the 8 huts made dinner for installers!  This meant 8 dinners....and it is hard to refuse because the villagers need to be able to show their appreciation

Each Family of the 8 huts made dinner for installers! This meant 8 dinners….and it is hard to refuse because the villagers need to be able to show their appreciation

This was in one of the teachers huts - they were so grateful to get light at night to prepare their student lessons for the following day.

This was in one of the teachers huts – they were so grateful to get light at night to prepare their student lessons for the following day.

It may be my imgination but these look like massive frogs on steroids

It may be my imgination but these look like massive frogs on steroids

Breathtaking timeout....

Breathtaking timeout….

Nieghborhood kids posing for a photo - with the promise of a treat of course.

Nieghborhood kids posing for a photo – with the promise of a treat of course.

Kids band to gether to watch the show.

Kids band to gether to watch the show.

Celebration with Lao Hine, a sweet home made wine - not so enjoyable for Oudone though.  Personally I stay away from the stuff - lots of bacteria in it.

Celebration with Lao Hine, a sweet home made wine – not so enjoyable for Oudone though. Personally I stay away from the stuff – lots of bacteria in it.

Wow!  I have never seen so much Lao Hine in one place!  I couldn't imagine walking after that.

Wow! I have never seen so much Lao Hine in one place! I couldn’t imagine walking after that.

Leung takes a last shot of Oudone, after a hard days work.

Leung takes a last shot of Oudone, after a hard days work.

 

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