In January of this year I retired from a 30 year career in higher education. In making this transition, I felt a need for an adventure and an opportunity to share my knowledge and skills in a meaningful way internationally. In pursuit of an opportunity, I found Global Vision International and amongst the many programs offered, found myself attracted to Laos.
My friends and family frequently have asked me “why Laos”? After having spent over two weeks in Luang Prabang, this is easy to answer. Luang Prabang is a vibrant community with a large number of Buddhist temples and western culture. After arriving at the Luang Prabang airport and walking around town that first day, I found it to be walkable and a comfortable place to call home. The cultural attractions in this ancient capital are intriguing and nearly limitless. The people were exceptionally friendly and eager to learn from us and improve their English skills.
What GVI in Luang Prabang offers is English education in Buddhist temples and other educational settings, through a dedicated and friendly staff combined with committed volunteers. There is a strong sense of community with staff helping volunteers, volunteers helping volunteers, and a setting that is conducive for eating meals and getting to know each other on a personal level.
I am humbled for having had this opportunity to spend with GVI in Laos and the amazing group of staff and volunteers I am now able to call my friends. I would have liked to have stayed longer, and welcome an opportunity to return to Luang Prabang in the future.