Here he is.
I arrived in Tad Lo after walking several miles from where the local bus dropped me off. A village in the center of southern leg of Laos, set in the mountains, with a river running through the middle, I knew this was a place I was going to stay for some time. I heard drums and walked towards them curiously, and found myself in the center of a temple. This one unlike others seen in books and films, it is composed of one ornate center building of reds and golds, not so big, with a table in the middle and open to the cool air around. There are few plants its mostly hard packed red dirt with severl wood huts surrounding the temple, this all faces the river. As I stood there taking in this new setting a little boy walked up to me. “Hello” he said with a beaming smile, “I’m monk Ouymany, what is your name?” I had entered the playground and was making friends fast. Monk Ouymany was not a little boy, but 17 years old, he was malnurished during pregnancy, I was led down the path into what the entrance just hinted at. His father had left the village to make money, but does not send anything back, they dont know where he is. His one older brother has followed suit, now he, the eldest of 6 other siblings and his mom, make their life here, by boiling the river water to drink and working the fields with the rest of the village.
One day while working with them in the fields, Ouymany said, “Brother, today I am happy, today my family and I get to give you meat to eat.” “Yes?” I implored. His brother had shot a large rat in the field with his sling shot. They gutted it and cooked it on the open fire and scraped the burnt hair off, this was the meat, this was their fortunate feast, that follows me to this day, in all the restaurants I eat.
I left the village to continue on my journey but before I did, Monk Ouy and I went to the neighboring village to set him up on a computer, with an email address.
An email from my brother:
Hello! Joy. How are you ? I am a Monk ouymany
I missed you really! Are you at home now or not?
when do you come back to Tadlo and visit us? Good luck Brother Joy!!!
He called me “Joy”. They all did. To cut a long story short, I have made it my mission to constantly send money back to Ouymany and his family to share with them what I may have as he and his family shared with me what they have.
As I said before, the water they drink is boiled from the river. The village has no clean water. It is my hope that through this site and your help, we can bring them clean water! When this whole photograph exhibition thing started to take off, I put together a Photo Album of my time there and decided that:
20% of all of my sales would go to bringing them clean water. If you want you can just make a donation of any amount.
All these pastings and exhibitions are costly for the printing and just to be there. I have given my life to this message and project, any support from you ensures that it continues.