I’m currently in Luang Prabang in Laos, an extremely beautiful city filled with old French architecture. My first month in Cambodia was an incredible experience- I cannot wait to return to Siem Reap in the future. The NGO I did my first placement with, Volunteer Building Project Cambodia, was so well organised and they really made some incredible changes in the villages surrounding the city. They have built 11 houses and during my 2 week stay we were repairing an existing village house. I absolutely loved the experience & I learnt so much about building techniques as well as the operation of the NGO.
For my second placement, completed last Friday, I was working in Vang Vieng in the North of Laos, with a company called ‘Fruit Friends’. I was initially supposed to be helping with construction work on a secondary school in Keo Kuang village an hour out of the city; however over the 2 week period I was only able to visit the site once. I didn’t quite have the experience with this NGO as I had expected (perhaps Cambodia set the bar a little too high) however I’ve gained some really valuable knowledge about the difficulties NGOs face in developing countries; in Laos a lack of communication is a huge problem.
In one weeks time I will be setting down in Nairobi for the next three month segment of my journey, which is a little scary but extremely exciting! I’m so lucky to be having this incredible life experience so I have to thank The Architecture Foundation again.