In early 2014 I have set a goal: to go to Luang Prabang in Laos. We have wanted to go for years but 2014 will be the year with a little bit of luck and health. It is well known for its alms giving ceremony to a procession of monks, which for good, bad or indifferent has become quite a tourist destination so that they may participate in the ceremony.
Trekking or backpacking is also popular in Laos and while my backpacking days are pretty much over I do plan to trek into a literary charity doing a lot of good for Laotians. It is called Big Brother Mouse.
The purpose of Big Brother Mouse is to get as many books into the hands of as many Laotians as possible. I think it is a good program. It has been recommended by people I trust. I still remember the first book that had an emotional impact on me. It is called, SHAG – Last of the Plains Buffalo. Written by Robert M. McClung and illustrated by Louis Darling. The first edition came out around 1959. I read it around 1962. I was pleased to learn recently that it is still in print and being sold.
I believe reading is a habit best caught early. Books like SHAG got me interested in reading. It became a life long habit. Big Brother Mouse does its best to get books that will have the same effect into the hands of Laos school children by throwing book parties. If you have a trip planned for Luang Prabang think about stopping into Big Brother Mouse to see what they are doing and learn how you might possibly help. (Big Brother Mouse also has an office located in Vientiane, Laos – both locations accept donations of books or money. Contact them via their web site before you stop in). Click the map below to go to their web site:
I have been to Laos only one time. I was struck by the peacefulness of the country. More than once I have heard that Laos is like Thailand used to be. I look forward to the trip. It’s good to have goals and it’s good when the world of reading is brought to young people living in less fortunate countries. You’ll be hearing more about Big Brother Mouse in the future, when I share a post about a frog, a mouse and a dog.