The pink suitcase became my mascot for this trip.
“It’s like a shop!” my son said as I packed — excited by the sheer number of toothbrushes in one place.
Life is settling back into normality here at home after the Mother’s Day Laos Cycle Challenge for Save the Children. However, memories of the trip stick in my mind; these sort of experiences change you. My mind keeps going back to how excited the Laos children were to receive toothbrushes on the day we visited a rural school. Their happy smiling faces; eyes full of light.
The children had never used a toothbrush before and so I did an impromptu lesson on how to brush teeth. It reminded me of how much I take for granted with my own children.
To celebrate the trip, I created a short video with a snap shot of cycling through Laos and meeting the children. I go back and watch the video often, just to see the happy bright faces again. You can still sponsor me here. The money raised will go towards building another life-saving clinic in Laos just like this one.
My pink suitcase didn’t come home with me. It would have made sense to unpack it and bring it home again but it felt right to leave it there in Laos. I don’t know where it will end up, but it makes me feel good to know that it is there…somewhere.
katepickleJune 12, 2013 at 11:36 am
Wow… kinda of hit home to know those kids had never used a tooth brush.
I can’t imagine how much this trip (and your WV one) changes you… I’ve always worried that if I went on something like this I may not manage the weight of all the hardship… but I guess it is tempered by the joy, the love and the simple things….
You are a special person Kelly.
KellyJune 12, 2013 at 5:46 pm
You are very special. And you are so right, there are many little things we take for granted, including tooth brushes! Inspiring 🙂
Kate LloydJune 12, 2013 at 10:38 pm
What an incredible job you did Kelly. You brought so much more than toothbrushes to the children, you could see it on their faces in the video. What a wonderful person you are and I’m sure those children will think of you often.
Kylie @ Octavia and VickyJune 13, 2013 at 4:04 pm
What an amazing experience and you have given so much to Laos with this trip. Loved the video 🙂
DebsJune 16, 2013 at 12:16 pm
Aww, I couldn’t stop the tears coming while watching that video. What precious souls and what an incredible experience Kelly. You did such an amazing thing and so inspiring. Next time you go, I’ll cycle along with you carrying all the toothbrushes I can handle. Really touching and inspirational. Thanks for sharing. x
Nae adventuresathomewithmumJune 17, 2013 at 12:03 pm
wow the things we take for granted. You’re such an inspiration and I am sure you will be a cherished memory for all those happy children.
This is amazing Kelly, what an incredible experience for you.
Cycle Laos: A MissionJune 25, 2013 at 7:20 pm
[…] Morning came. My body ached, weary from the 80 km ride into Vientiane the day before. But I felt good. I was ready and excited to return home to my husband and family on the evening flight. I lay there for a moment, celebrating the aches in my body as a triumph of the, in total, 300km ride I achieved to raise money for Save the Children projects in Laos. […]
Carol PerksSeptember 12, 2013 at 12:35 pm
I found your blog about the pink suitcase and wanted to let you know that the remaining toothbrushes ended up with the dentists at Pak Ou and Nambak district hospitals in Luang Prabang province to distribute to the children attending the clinics there.
It was wonderful to meet you during the cycle tour, thank you for all your support to the primary school in Hatmat village, – the children really enjoyed it!
It takes a special person to make the effort to help others in developing countries, – keep it up!
Kelly Be A Fun MumSeptember 13, 2013 at 11:08 am
Thank you for taking the time to leave this comment. It was a privilege to take part and learn more about the life saving work of Save the Children. My mind travels back to Laos often, and I will look for more opportunities to help where I can.
Are you back now in Australia?