2022-09 Borders have reopened after covid, and we are back after three years of being away. We are now in Bhutan for our sixth visit and will be here until 2023. It is an honor to be invited back as one of the first volunteers since covid.
Before the pandemic, we completed assignments in Bhutan, Cambodia, and the Lao People's Democratic Republic. We photographed a project for Photographers Without Borders documenting the Maya Health Alliance in Guatemala. Then we traveled to Chile and Ecuador. We were in the Lao PDR doing personal humanitarian work when the pandemic started at the beginning of 2020. Then we traveled to France before borders were closed and then to Switzerland, working on post-processing and previous work. After vaccinations, we traveled to Hawaii and Alaska in the USA, Romania, Croatia, Italy, and Switzerland.
We have been helping remotely through email and social media almost daily. It's both heartbreaking and encouraging to follow the progress of our Lao scholarship students as some are defeated, and others continue to strive despite the increased burden of covid on their lives. Sadly, we feel that covid has adversely and permanently impacted the socio-economic status of many.
In August 2022, we returned to Vientiane, the capital city in Laos, where we lived for two years before moving to the village for another nine years. We visited with colleagues, neighbors, friends, eight scholarship students studying at university and college, and three graduates. These three graduates are now helping new students from the villages to study in Vientiane. Spending with these students and graduates, most of whom we have known since primary school, and seeing how well they are doing is heartwarming.
If you want help sharing your stories and accomplishments with your donors, don't hesitate to contact me by email. I am also available for a detailed consultation, instruction, or mentoring. Authors, please get in touch with me if you would like to collaborate.