At the end of 2011 Nicole and the Laos students had a great team building day. In this post Nicole introduces the day and shares the experience with photographs.

On the tenth of December JWOC Laos Scholarship Students of past and present joined together for a fun filled day of teambuilding activities. The day started off with all students joining together at the JWOC office in the morning. I started with a speech about the importance of the JWOC team and its benefits beyond the years they are Scholarship Students. Hmong Her, who graduated in June 2011, was awarded a certificate of completion, a JWOC Graduate T-shirt and a CD filled with pictures of his last two years with JWOC.

Two of our past graduates Kim and Hmong each gave a speech about their experiences with JWOC and an update on what they had been up to since they left college and JWOC. Following the speeches were activities, which incorporated trust, communication, strategic planning and problem solving aspects.

After the activities were finished, the group piled into a truck with drums, a guitar and food for a picnic lunch on the Nam Khan River. The day was a bit cloudy and cool so everyone bundled up together for the ride and sang songs along the way. Once the group arrived the students took the opportunity to take photos with the JWOC camera while other set up the picnic lunch. After the plentiful lunch was consumed the JWOC team sat together and shared stories and sang songs with one another until heading back to town in the afternoon.

Enjoy some photos from our JWOC Laos Team Building Day…

Hmong Giving Speech
Hmong Her showing pictures of his activities following his graduation for Teacher Training College ( TTC). During his speech prior to discussing his travels, Hmong said this about JWOC, “JWOC gives me the opportunity to learn more beyond what I learned at TTC. Learn how to be a better person and teacher. Experience and learn from what others think and do”.

Discussing Strategy for Balloons in the Air
Students were split into teams for the activities for the day. The first warm up game was Balloons in the Air. For this game the person must say the name of a body part and a person’s name in the group. That person then must hit the balloon with that body part. How long they can do this without the balloon touching the ground is timed and the team with the longest time wins. The students were all laughs during the game. So much fun!

Team A playing Balloons in the Air. This team ended up winning this activity with the best time, but I think that was because they pretty much only said hand or foot for the body part to use.

Team B worked in a much smaller circle and used all different body parts for this round of Balloons in the Air

Bouakham was one of the first to attempt the obstacle course. Each team had to blindfold a team member and guide them to the finish line by only communicating. Even though the obstacle course changed with each participant, the students improved each time on their time to the finish line.

Hmong leads Neng in the obstacle course
Team A uses the tactic to only have one person talk to the blinded person. Here Hmong her guides Neng to glory, beating Team B in time.

Soubanh and Kim each attempting to get to the finish line first!

Team A urging Bouakham to trust them by taking a huge step forward to walk over the obstacle

Watch out for that chair Lue! If the blinded person touches one of the objects then time is added to the time in which they finished the course. The team with the lowest amount of time wins!

Just a few minutes to create…
For the marble track activity the teams were given five minutes to discuss how they would get the marble from one side of the course with obstacles to the other without touching it and using unconnected pipes.

Kim is waiting patiently to feel the marble drop in her tube and then try to move the pipes to the bucket without dropping it.

Team B demonstrates the success of working together and communicating.

Soubanh leads us in song
Soubanh brings along the JWOC guitar for our picnic to the river banks of the Nam Khan River. What better way to enjoy the ride then to sing along as we travel in the back of a truck on a cool, cloudy day?

The trip to the location of our picnic was about 30 minutes so we all bundled up for the ride.

Yummy traditional Lao food for lunch
Our picnic lunch on the banks of the Nam Khan River consisted of some yummy traditional Lao food. We had grilled fish stuffed with lemongrass, pickled and boiled veggies, bamboo soup, spicy dipping sauce, pickled pork, pork laap and the essential sticky rice.

Everyone enjoys lunch together beside the rapids and rolling green hills.

Recently we received a camera from JWOC in Cambodia so that the students could have the opportunity to take pictures and today was the first time they used it and created their own photos. Here is a great one with Khor, Lue and Soubanh. The props and physical additions are inventive!

Lue takes a picture of Country Director, Nicole Long with Vandy and Neng Thor.

Here is a fantastic picture taken by Khor.

Phaeng braves the water
Unfortunately Lao’s winter had arrived and our picnic wasn’t as warm and sunny as we hoped. We had planned to go swimming, but it was too cold. That didn’t stop Phaeng, JWOC Laos Assistant Country Director, from jumping in!

Vanhdee was one of the students who provided music for our sing along at the river. The Lao love to sing songs, no matter where they are.

Hmong Her shows off his pride by wearing his JWOC graduate shirt. Way to go Hmong!

All the students helped getting our lunch ready. Here is Bouakham slicing up a fresh papaya for our dessert!

We are so proud to expand our JWOC team every year. The students are vital to carrying out our mission and other projects. Team JWOC!

If you’d like to find out more about how the Scholarship Programme works take a look here.

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