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Laos Update

Updated: Aug 29, 2019

Excerpts from a journal (submitted by Patsy Kent)

We had just hosted a dinner to say goodbye to our last teammates. I wrote:

May 16—“I am dealing with loss. I expect to find solace in our team community, but now they have all moved on.”

Over the past few years five families and three single interns have finished their work with us and gone on to other places. This is expected and not unusual for expatriates who work overseas. But it affects those who stay.

“Yet, so many Lao people have been put before us who welcome us. We have lots of opportunities for ESL and for open conversations. We are freer now that ever to give our energies to involvement at the hospital and university. Yet we want partners, friends who co-labor fully in the work with us. Please send us people like that!”

Alec Baca, an apprentice with REI, interacts with happy students in an English Club after hours.

July 11—“What should my picture of a team be now? Enable us to receive whatever we are given.”

July 18—“I am excited about the possibility of Doug and Joyce (REI leaders) and Vieng and Sally Wong coming and the possibility of two more young couples as well, and even another Fulbright young man, all potential teammates for us in Laos!”

Currently: Between September 13 – 24 Craig and Patsy Kent, team leaders for the REI Laos team, along with Doug and Joyce Erdmann, President of REI, will host 5 adults (plus two children,) who are seriously exploring involvement with REI in Laos! They are interested in assisting the English teachers at the medical school and teaching English classes at the University and the hospital, assisting with nursing in the Intensive Care Unit, and training physicians and nurses in the new Neonatal Unit of a new hospital wing. These various efforts will impact medical students who will serve throughout the nation of Laos in future years and help develop hospital staff and bring current practice in these areas to a capitol city hospital that serves the whole country.

Staff in the oncology department were persistent in asking for a beginner English class. Dr. "Khen" teaches them twice a week.

Lao leaders are asking us to help their people speak, read, and use English as it is now a necessary requirement for further educational opportunities in the region as well as for research, training, and interaction with the international community. We are looking for more people who are eager to engage with the friendly and welcoming people of Laos through English with us. What about you?

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