This trip was very special to me. I took an volunteer trip to Laos to help build schools for a community.
During the times we had off, I would take my camera and go visit the unbeaten paths to find the hidden gems. I did not, however, expect that these gems to be people.
This is when I found my passion in photography and realized I could use this to reach my ultimate goal of making positive changes.
Novice Monks Sightsee
Novice Monks from Laos overlook the capital from the top of the Victory Monument. [Vientiane, Laos]
Monks from neighbouring country, Thailand, off to see the rest of Laos. [Vientiane, Laos]
Local Lao Girl - Bu Van
Bu Van, 13, wants to grow up to be a Teacher at the school she attends now.
Little Joys in Life
During a second visit to Bana Por, we bought them a soccer ball. Words can’t explain how overwhelmed we were to see them have such smiles.
Mother and Son shares a moment.
Ton Tan, 3, and his mother. They live together in a tiny village, Bana Por, just outside Luang Prabang, Laos
Watching the world go by
At a tiny village, a local girl sits in front of her house while she watches her friends play soccer.
Novice Monk Awaits Lunch
Locals offers food to Monks at local temples in exchange for blessings and prayers.
Monks Offer Blessings
Monks offering blessings at a local temple. He will say a prayer and tie a white yarn around your wrist to protect you from bad luck.
Local boy from the village of Bana Por, eats a cookie while he tries to hide his shy smile from the camera.
Ton Tan sits around this table after playtime to rest. He starts school next year, and until then, he can just play and sit at the table with his grandma
This man is offering the opportunity to tourists and locals to release the birds from their cages, therefore, giving them better karma.
Monks Pose for Photo
Monks Posing for a photo. Monks are very respected in Laos, as friendly as they are, it is always respectful to ask for their permission for a photo.
Monks praying at their local temple.
Local Lao Net-throwing Fisherman
Net-throwing Fisherman packs his nets for the day. He then takes the fish and sells it at one of the local markets.
Monks from Thailand taking a break at the Victory Monument during their holiday. [Vientiane, Laos]
Volunteers rebuilt some of the desks and benches for this elementary school.
TukTuk on Busy Street
Patient Tuk-Tuk on the busy streets of Vientiane, Laos
Lao Students hanging out
Kids Hanging out after their Summer classes at a local elementary school.
This group of boys were so eager to get a photo of all them together.
Victory Monument (Patuxai) - Vientiane, Laos This monument was built between 1957 - 1968 to commemorate those who fought for independence against the French.
Group of volunteers re-painted and designed this local classroom.
Ton Tan is eager to play with his new toy.
Monkey on a ride
Monkey casually enjoying a ride on the back of this pick-up.
Lao School Bleachers
Girls hanging out on the bleachers after their summer class.
Smiles all around in a tiny Village of Bana Por.
Students attending summer school.
Farmer picking berries
Local Farmer looks for berries to feed his chickens.
Local farmer picks berries for his chickens.
Layout of a typical local Laos classroom. This school had no electricity, so windows were the only source of light and cool air.
Local girls playing on their farm.
One of the many statues of Buddha at Wat Sisaket Temple. There are roughly 7000 statues of Buddha in the interior.
Ton Tan had just woke up from his afternoon nap.
Ton Tan's go to gesture while taking a photo.
Grandma kisses the newest addition to her family.
First thing I saw when visiting Bana Por Village. A little boy and his sisters cutting sugarcane while grandma cooks
How do you write your name?
Bu Van shows us how to write her name in Laotian.
Giant Reclining Golden Buddha
Reclining Golden Buddha at Pha That Luang.
Buddha Park (Xieng Khuan), is a public park just outside of Vientiane, Laos. Locals will come here on weekends for picnics or just a day out with the family
Buddha statue at Wat Sisaket Temple surrounded by hundreds of little intricate statues in the wall.
Silhouette Pumpkin Tower
The very top of the 'Pumpkin Tower' at Buddha Park. The Pumpkin Tower itself has 3 levels, hell, earth and heaven - each floor is designed and decorated as such.