Sunday, August 28, 2011

Radio Sieng Lao

Devoted to sharing news and information of interest to Toronto's Lao community, Radio Sieng Lao, a program which airs every Sunday morning between 9 am and 10 am on Fairchild Radio AM 1430 and online, issued its first public service announcement about Adopt a Village in Laos at about 9.30 am today. Included in that segment was news about the upcoming fundraiser at the Capitol Theatre in Port Hope, Ontario and the Chapters Indigo presentation in downtown Toronto. Every Sunday during the month of September, similar public service announcements will be broadcast on this program.

I must extend great thanks to Esther Kwong and Khamkeuth Keovongsa of Fairchild Radio Toronto for making this small media event a reality and for helping to raise awareness of this organization with the world at large.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Bound for Laos

(Learn more about this province and its capitol, Luang Prabang.)
As soon as I finished work yesterday, I dashed out the door, hopped on my bike and then peddled madly to my bank to withdraw the necessary money for my airfare to Laos. After my brief visit to the bank, I rushed to the Flight Centre, which was soon to close for the day, to finalize all the details with my travel agent, who must be commended for delivering exceptional customer service.

When I got home, I took some time to review the itinerary.

On December 3, I begin the first leg of my journey to Laos. My flight leaves Lester B. Pearson International Airport (Toronto) at 6.30 am Eastern Time and arrives at Kennedy International Airport (New York City) at 8.15 am Eastern Time. Since this is an international flight, I know that I must be at the airport three hours prior to departure. Therefore,  I must be there no later than 3.30 am that morning.

At 12.40 pm Eastern Time, I depart Kennedy International Airport on a Seoul-bound Korean Airlines flight, which will take fourteen hours and thirty minutes to reach its destination. On December 4 at 5.10 pm local time (3.10 am in Toronto), the flight arrives in Seoul.

At 7.25 pm local time (5.25 am in Toronto), I depart Seoul on a different Korean Airlines flight. Four hours and fifty-five minutes later, at 10.20 pm local time (8.20 am in Toronto), I land in Hanoi.

After spending about seventeen hours in Vietnam, I embark on the final leg of my journey. On December 5 at 6.25 pm local time (6.25 am in Toronto), I leave on a Lao Aviation aircraft for the land of a million elephants. An hour later (7.25 pm local time; 7.25 am in Toronto) I arrive in what was once the royal capitol of Laos and now designated by UNESCO as a world heritage city, Luang Prabang, where I will be greeted by Steve Rutledge and Mike Yap.

After combining wait times at the various airports (about 25 hours) with my time in the air (about 22 hours), I will have spent about fifty hours on my journey to Laos.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Vaccinations for Laos Part 2

Yesterday I had another appointment at the travel health clinic. For this visit I received a booster shot for the Twinrix inoculation I had received the previous Tuesday. On September 12, I return to the clinic to receive my third and final Twinrix inoculation.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Our Charity Number Is...

It's now official. Adopt a Village in Laos Charity Registration Number is 83699 1000 RR0001.

-- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Vaccinations for Laos

As part of the preparations for my journey to Laos, I attended my first consultation at a local travel health clinic. The healthcare providers were extremely helpful and reviewed all the necessary requirements and precautions to ensure good health. They did a complete breakdown of costs and what was covered by OHIP and any company health plan which I might have.

During that visit, I received my first set of vaccinations: Twinrix and tetanus. The Twinrix shot specifically protects one against Hepatitis A and B. Hepatitis A can be contracted through exposure to contaminated water, ice, or shellfish harvested in contaminated water; or from fruits, vegetables, or other foods that are eaten uncooked and that were contaminated during harvesting and subsequent handling. Heptatitis B can be contracted through exposure to blood or body fluids, sexual contact with local population, or be exposed through medical treatment.

For extensive information about other requirements and precautions for travellers to Laos, I discovered this excellent web site.

Next week I return to the clinic for another consultation and set of shots.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

New Order of Tees On The Way

A second batch (20 in all) of Adopt a Village in Laos t-shirts is currently on order. This is very exciting!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Charitable Status Achieved

Last week months of anticipation came to a joyous conclusion when Steve Rutledge received word from the government that his humanitarian organization, Adopt a Village in Laos, was finally recognized as a charity. While this is definitely cause for celebration, Steve Rutledge informed me that he will be happiest once he actually sees that charitable status number, which will be any day now.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Adopt a Village in Laos Capitol Theatre Event

On the evening of Saturday, September 17 starting shortly after 7 pm, Adopt a Village in Laos will be holding a special event at the Capitol Theatre in downtown Port Hope. Hosting that night will be organization founders Steve Rutledge and Mike Yap. Among the guests lined up for this special evening will be Ted Amsden, the Northumberland Today photojournalist who visited Laos in December 2010 and later wrote a three-part series in that local paper about the organization, and myself, Roland Drake, who will be doing a short presentation and will be honoured for my own small contributions to the organization.

If you're interested in learning more about this event, please email:

Roland Drake  at


Steve Rutledge at