Ban Xai Holiday News 14th April.
Today is our last day at Ban Xai ,and what a wonderful experience we’ve had over the past two months. We have become very fond of the people we have met and their ways which is gentle, considerate and respectful a way of life we could learn from, as well we have been accepted as part of the Ban Xai community.
I arrived a volunteer on holiday but” by crickey “it soon became a boot camp, digging, lifting, shovelling, carrying and I did the cooking as well so I go home feeling fitter with an urge to continue my agricultural experience.
We have been lucky to be able to finish many of the projects , the most important for us was the completion and establishment of a water supply to the school and the village. I did feel incredibly guilty when I arrived to have a flushing toilet a shower and tapped water to the kitchen when the community only 200m away and school of 70 students was without my luxuries.
I now walk to the village and see mothers and infants bathing while at the school children can wash and use the toilet which previously was a pit along the fence line. These necessities are a direct result of Mivac volunteers, us and our team here at Ban Xai .
The gardens will flourish with the reticulated water and the hope of two crops a year is now achievable. We see a difference in what was a very struggling cassava crop in only a short time with constant water. There are new garden beds which are very well fertilized now just waiting for crops to be sown.
The completion of the police house adds to the Mivac Community and complex.
The piggery is ready for occupation and drainage established for the biodigester which now brings me to an area of frustration.
Our aim was to leave Ban Xai ready for the next stage with water to the community, reticulated water to the farm a piggery and a working biodigester.All except the biodigester has been achieved, the beast will not comply, and its only worth is that of producing bloody good liquid fertilizer with the help of course of the magnificent water buffalo and those wonderful men who religiously every morning at 0645 shovel sh………..!!
We acknowledge the work of Mivac and previous volunteers who no doubt have the same passion for the Lao people as we have and for their future, the hard work of previous volunteers gives us and those that follow something to build on and we leave Ban Xai with great satisfaction tinged with some sadness at our departure.
We hope that the fine balance of existence between community and intervention in what is a very harmonious life of family, land and culture is sustained, and consideration and recognition continues to be given to this balanced and gentle culture with positive outcomes for the people of Ban Xai.
I acknowledge the people before us and the hard work they have done to establish the Ban Xai farm.