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Thursday, December 19: Day 241 – English Spoken Here

Our feature picture was taken by Rob when he was descending Mount Phousi. This is a view above the numerous tents set up for the night market.

We are on a roll teaching English. It has been really rewarding, and we have enjoyed the friendship of the students.

One student handed me a flyer that is advertising other English schools in the area. It seems like there are quite a few. One is a short walk from our hotel and is called Big Brother Mouse. This school is basically free. They ask English speakers to come and converse with students from 9-11 to practice speaking and listening. Rob opted to sleep in so I got up early, had breakfast and walked to town.

On the walk I noticed much work being done around and in the river. In fact, there was a traffic jam where a bulldozer was turning around in the road.

Since the river is so low due to the dams restricting water flow and since it is the dry season, there is much activity along the river.

They are reinforcing the shoreline of the river by putting large limestone rocks in wire cages.

Also, they are dredging the bottom. I am not sure if they are removing precious silt for farm purposes or much sought after sand.

In America, we talk about overuse of plastics….but actually glass consumption should be reduced even more as it doesn’t recycle indefinitely like we think.

Sand used for glass making AND construction is being consumed at an alarming rate…and desert sand is not usable. Read the following interesting article for more information:


The students at Big Brother Mouse asked very sophisticated questions about word meanings such as the difference between gazebo and hut. Hmmm. It seems rather obscure. Also, how to say wait so that it doesn’t sound like wet. That one is very hard.

I told her to say the letter A, then Way, then Wait.

A>Way>Wet would be her continual response. I asked if she could hear the difference. Her friend could say it correctly, but she could not say English. It would come out Elich. Her friend could pronounce English correctly.

Rob and I have come to the conclusion that everyone is working on something!! Even English speakers…except for Rob! Rob says that I mispronounce Dawn and Don because they are the same to me.

Two college girls read excerpts about buying a couch. One young man asked about the difference between a hostel and hotel and a guesthouse.

I was experiencing random English overload. Rob and I went to our regular evening classes. I appreciated the systematic approach to learning English at English 4 Everyone. Here is a picture of the Lao teachers. It looks a little like a line up that one might see at the post office.

The teachers prepare the lesson, and we reinforce with pronunciations and word usage.

Noy is our waitress at breakfast each morning and speaks only a little English. She is curious where we go each evening. She wants to improve her English. We asked if she could sit in on a class so she came to my first class and jumped right in and answered questions. They were working on should and shouldn’t as it related to not feeling well such as a fever, stomach ache, etc.

Sadly, she must interview and enroll/pay to continue to come to class. The cost is $11/month which is a lot of money for Lao people. She may go instead to Big Brother Mouse because it is cheaper and closer. The hotel wants to encourage her by sending her for this type of professional development.

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