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Marissa McArdle in Laos: Photo Essay

November 7, 2012

A recent high school graduate, Marissa volunteered at the Donkai Children's Development Center in Laos under the guidance of Global Ministries personnel, Xuyen Dangers.

With this group of 16 children of kindergarten age and younger, no teacher was prepared, so one of the volunteers takes over. Here Marissa and Xuyen are taking the children of Donkoi Center outdoors to play and learn.


Marissa learned many Lao words just singing this simple song with the children.

With tune of Frere Jacque
“Niew po yu say ?  Niew po yu say?
Khoi you ni,  khoi yu ni
chao sabaidee bo, chao sabai dee bo
la khon do, lakon do “

Translation :
Where is  your thumb , where is your thumb?
here I am , here I am
how are you? how are you?
see you again, see you again

Niew  chi you say..(  index)
Niew  kang  you say( middle )
Niew nang  you say( ring finger )
Niew  koi you say (  little finger)


The very key first word for Marissa: Sabaidee, a familiar greeting. She will never forget this word as she practices many times with many children in one day at the Donkoi Center.


Marissa begins to learn Lao dance with the dance club, which meets every afternoon at the after school program.


Personal coaches love to show how to do the hand movements!


Where do you come from? How many people are in your family? Do you have a boy friend? Do you like Lao food? What activities do you like? Why are you here?
Many, many questions for Marissa. Marissa said, “They are not shy!” Children in Donkoi have been nurtured to ask questions, to participate and to be young leaders, which are the goals at Donkoi Children Development Center (DCDC). Most of these children started at the school in kindergarten or first grade. Now they know almost all the activities offered at DCDC and they have learned to be young leaders.


English lessons for fourth grade students.


Marissa taping a clay animation workshop with Lao youth.


Shadow puppet workshop.


Marissa singing a Lao song for a Lao official.


Marisa always engages in all activities. The language barrier has been no problem for her.


Marissa teaching English to Donkoi children outdoors at the secret garden.


Playing with Kindergarten children.

Click here to learn more about the After School Program in Laos

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