Thapenh is home to Khouansi Falls, a major Luang Prabang tourist attraction. Most of the village residents make their living selling souvenirs, handicrafts and food to the local tourists.
The Thapenh preschool, our fourth preschool building in Luang Prabang Province, was completed in March 2004. The preschool opened with 35 children, all eager and enthusiastic to learn.
Thapenh is located 28 kilometers south of Luang Prabang and one-quarter mile from Khouansi Falls. This and more local and smaller waterfalls are the natural water sources for the Thapenh. Village residents walk to the waterfall and carry water to their homes to use.
Once the preschool was completed, we felt the need to provide running water to the school. With the help of the construction company, we discovered a nearby small, dependable water source running along the side of a nearby mountain and hidden under the jungle canopy. We built a water purification system to process the water as it is steadily diverted from the stream flow.
In July 2004 we visited the completed school. We delicately climbed the jungle slope to see the water system first hand, navigating along the walls of a rice paddy. We were excited that we were able to discover and act on a creative solution to the preschool’s need for a water system.
We discovered from the village leader their need for medication to treat common ailments – eye infections, malaria, and dysentery. As a result, we have presented a full complement of medicine and medical supplies to the village nurse and leader.