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Deak Kum Pa Orphanage, Luang Prabang

LAOS | Thursday, 27 December 2012 | Views [420] | Comments [1]

Priya suggested that we go and see the Orphanage as she had heard or read about it. Jodie and I were over the moon at the idea and I quickly started doing some research into the Orpanage. www.deakkumpaorpanage.com Priya also sent me a link to some one else's blog and with that I couldn't wait to go.
We visited one afternoon, arriving by Tuk Tuk. On the drive up the dirt road to the orphanage, the children that were outside all looked in awe and smiled and said Sabidee. Once we pulled up outside, we walked up until we saw a welcome ign on the wall. Our driver waited as we spoke to a man who knew little English.  I think he may have been one of the teachers.  We said we wanted to bring gifts and clothes the following day but asked if we could have a look around today.  He eventually started taking us on a tour of the buildings.
The orphanage also operates as a school and currently has 573 children ranging from 6-17 and several young adults up to the age of 21.
The man taking us round started at the classrooms which went round by age group marked by numbers above the doors.  The children seemed so happy to see us and were all smiling and saying Sabidee (hello) while putting their hands to their face like they were praying (Laos tradition) I couldn't help but take pictures although it did also feel a bit wrong.
We saw all the classrooms of the secondary school children and then moved on to see some of the dorms they sleep in.  There were so many beds in one room but it looked kinda cool. I can imagine the kids love it and I bet it's hard to get them to sleep at night. There are pictures in my Laos photo album on here.
After the dorms we saw the primary class rooms.  The children did not know what to make of us. They didn't behave like the older kids and the man had obviously asked them to say hello as they all put their hands together and said Sabidee.  It was lovely. As you can imagine, I can already see myself working here. I would be in my element.  Since I love to travel and I also love teaching and care work, I think a TEFL (Teaching English As A Foreign Language) course is next on my list so I can travel and teach at the same time. I would love to volunteer here.
After the man had finished our tour we asked what gifts we could take the next day (Christmas Day) and although they do not celebrate Christmas in Laos, for us it is all about giving and so it would make our Christmas special.  The man said that they needed books and pens.
We left in the Tuk Tuk feeling great and after some grub we went in search for some stationary. As we are coming to the end of our travels now, our funds are very low and we could only afford 300 books and 200 pens.  I felt almost guilty not being able to take 573 and when we arrived the next day this feeling didn't go away.
We handed over the stationary to one of the teachers. He called over one of the young girls who could speak English so she could translate for both of us.  Jodie and I had also gone through our backpacks and took with us clothes we didn't need, all of which were almost brand new.  I handed them to the girl and said maybe you can take these. She replied with 'perhaps you can give them to my teacher and when there is enough for everyone he can give them out' I felt a little deflated but at the same time I knew we were doing a good thing.  He thanked us for coming and helping and hoped we could help again in the future.
I do hope that other backpackers will do a similar thing as if a few take a couple of hundred books or a handful of clothes there would quickly become enough for everyone :)
Peace and Love
Zoe xxx

Tags: christmas, deak kum pa, gifts, orphanage



I would like to know the exact location so that I can reach them.<br>Appreciate any assistance tendered The Orphanage is in the city of Luang Prabang. Ask any tuk tuk driver (or show them the name from google search) and they will be able to take you there. Zoe :)

  Desmond Mar 5, 2013 6:18 PM

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