Hello Everybody! An update…and a bit of duplication of the email sent out on July 21 about our road trip south to the nation's capital.

There were over a hundred people at the screening…and three mannequins again loaned by Phil Staub of General Pants…dressed up in an embroidery embossed jacket, a super Sondi and a Shrug. All the rest of the women’s creations were on display on Marty Rubensteins’ bamboo ladders…assembled by architect Emma Sommerville and her super-Mother, Cathy, who came up from the Victorian Grampians for the event.

great combination of Lao embroidery and western fashion

Because the screening took place in the brand-new swish ANU Film Club facilities we were not allowed to charge an entrance fee but donations plus sales of the women’s work reached over two thousand dollars. We would especially like to publicly thank Lone Thwaites and Brett Yeats who beat the drum and the bushes to promote the screening. We are dead ducks in Canberra, despite Iain having been born there (a very long time ago!)…and without their hard yakka we would have played to an empty house. So lets hear it for Lone and Brett. Heartwarming for us was that the screening spread the word aboutWOMEN’S BUSINESSand as always with a public event one can never anticipate where this word will land and take root. Numerous people spoke to us privately after the show and the Q&A session to express congratulations, thanks and their positive take on it all. The surprise for us was that despite the anticipated polite and understandable reserve of Canberra there were people there from the National Library and the National Gallery as well as media producers and philanthropists who openly expressed a warm emotional response to the story.  Probably best of all was that a cadre of EIGHT people from the Lao Embassy came along, including the Ambassador, Mr. Sisavath Inphachanh who gave Trish a hug! and took a selfie with her. Hard to explain to you the depth of what that shows. Since then Mr.Inphachanh has also written a letter expressing obviously heartfelt support for the Project. OK that’s a wrap of the screenings…. for a while at least.  And now for some photographs of the tremendously positive progress of the complete rebuild of the storm-destroyed Kindy at Koktum. THANK YOU,THANK YOU to everyone who has put in specifically towards this work.  THE NEW, SAFE, STRONG CLASSROOMS FOR THE THIRTY-FOUR KINDY STUDENTS IS ALMOST FINISHED.

New Kindy underway at koktum village

walls and roof done

Chanthy has been traveling home by overnight bus on Fridays from his Tourism Training course in Vientiane to spend time with Oan and Banjo as well as to get down to Koktum to keep an eye on progress with this building project. He then takes the overnight bus back down on Sundays to resume his weekday studies. Only another two weeks to go Chanthy! What a great fellow he is. And now we are pushing ahead with paperwork for possible funding grants as well as working on a scheme involving a young woman designer joining the team. But this is enough good news for you to digest in one hit. I don’t want to give you joy indigestion! We wish all of you in the Southern Hemisphere a Happy Winter…and remember when you may be tempted to complain about the chill mornings and evenings…in no time at all you will be tempted to complain instead about the hot nights! Back with news as it comes to hand….soonest. Walk with smiles …..trish

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