I was lucky enough to come across LLL while I was travelling in Laos.
I was only there for a shorter period of time but it was the best travelling experience I've ever had. I since then changed my perspective about what travelling is about.
How I started:
As I mentioned previously, I was travelling around Laos and really like Lao people. However, I find it hard to get to know more about their culture because there is some language barrier. Afterall Laos is still not so touristic like Thailand yet. I find even finding local food is hard. I could only order food from the English menu which consisted mainly of Thai and Vietnamese food.
What I learned:
It all changed dramatically once I started volunteering with them. We have a lovely Lao couple Boun and Sai. Sai has been working for LLL for years and speaks great English. Boun cooks amazing local meals where she gets fresh ingredients from the local markets every day. Alongside with another lovely couple Karolien and Tibo from Belgium who dedicated themselves for Lao community. They gave me perspective about Lao people, culture and food. It was short but I immediately felt closer to Laos because of how friendly and welcoming everyone was.
What I did:
LLL had fundraised some money and I was lucky enough to be part of the construction of some toilets for a local elementary school from the beginning. It was not easy for those who just want to come and have fun. It's very hot and hard work. But we only needed to do half a day. And we all take turns to basically make sure it's not too much for the volunteers. We eventually developed an amazing relationship with the construction workers by trying to communicate with one another. It ended up like a true language exchange. We share food, jokes and laughter.
Compare to any volunteering jobs which I could find online. LLL is incredibly cheap, to be honest. It's only US115 per week including bedroom and meals.
You have a lot of free time to explore nature. Blue lagoons, waterfalls, hikes, river floating, motorbike trips, rock climbing, hot air balloon (cheapest in the world), and parties too.
I have a great time there because of the loveliest people in Laos. They are sweet, cute and kind. Highly recommend LLL!