Friday, January 15, 2010

First week in LP - January 15, 2010

The first week has come and gone faster than I expected but I've seen most of the many unique teaching opportunities GVI has in Luang Prabang. Here’s a quick summary to give you an idea; two monk schools (primary and middle levels), the Mano Centre school, Wat Sop school, Mr. Ken’s and the two drop-in centres; My Library and Big Brother Mouse.

The classes are generally large, most with 30 or more students. Many of the schools GVI supports charge the students a lower fee compared with other schools and some students are not charged at all (paying for school is the norm in Laos). This makes for very motivated students (unlike my own student days).

There are several classes in each school throughout the week and for their first week the new volunteers are encouraged to participate in as many different classes as they can. At some schools like Mr. Ken’s you jump right in on the first day and conduct a large part of the class since the students want and need practice conversing in English. Be prepared to think on your feet!

What I learned this first week is that there is no shortage of teaching opportunities here. It was a bit overwhelming at times and some days are long but I have to say the energy I got from the students carried me through.

At the end of the day its easy to find lots of great food in Luang Parbang. I've had some really good meals for just 25,000 kip (about $3US).

Amy and I found a "shortcut" to the monk school from the guest house - up and over Phousi Hill. As the photos show its a good substitute for your morning stairmaster routine.

- Ron