Keegan has taught, studied, and researched in Thailand for more than a decade and joined Rustic in 2011. From northern California, he completed his master’s thesis on the effects of forest fires on floral and fungal communities. Keegan is fluent in written and spoken Thai and Lao and brings his deep knowledge of Southeast Asia’s history and culture to our Southeast Asia operations.
Khamla is a leading force behind the development of our Laos team and has managed operations for eight years. Originally from the heart of rural Xayaboury province, he received a degree in economics from Souphanuvong University in Luang Prabang, where he now lives with his wife and young daughter. Khamla is always ready to tackle any challenge, managing our year-round programs with calm expertise. He has also been instrumental in the expansion of our Luang Prabang Base on the Mekong River in Laos.
Anou, who joined Rustic Pathways in 2009, hails from the rural western frontier of Xayaboury Province along the border of Laos and Myanmar. As a certified Wilderness First Responder, he has been a key staff member on the Come With Nothing: The Mekong Expedition staff for several years. Anou has traveled extensively with students throughout Southeast Asia.
Somphan grew up in Na Som, a small Hmong village in Vang Vieng, Laos. Somphan helps to manage The Sticky Rice Service Adventure, and is a big reason why we have such deep connections to the Na Som community. Somphan’s father is a respected village leader and shaman who shares Hmong traditions with our students. In his free time, Somphan enjoys studying English and playing soccer. He is also well-known for his English-Lao karaoke skills which make him a favorite on long drives in the RP vans.
Buapha grew up in a small village just a short walk from the beautiful Kuang Xi Waterfall in Luang Prabang, Laos. After finishing school, he worked as a tour guide and taxi driver before joining our Laos team eight years ago. Buapha is a key leader on Come With Nothing: The Mekong Expedition, ensuring the students are always safe and having fun. Buapha enjoys playing cards and learning English from our students.
Meng Yang joined Rustic Pathways in 2008 and is one of Laos’ most experienced staff. He grew up in Na Som village, one of the core locations on the ‘Sticky Rice Service Adventure’ Program. Mengyang’s happy nature and passion for sharing Laos culture make him a valuable leader across a variety of programs.
Khamtai hails from a remote hill tribe village outside of Luang Prabang. An instant favorite with students, Khamtai is one of our future leaders with a real knack for community service. He loves showing students around his fascinating village. Khamtai’s English has come a long way, and he has earned the reputation of being our handyman who can fix just about anything.
Long Lee comes from Na Som village, outside Vang Vieng in central Laos. His father is currently the head of their village. Long Lee joined us in 2017 as program leader on the ‘Sticky Rice Service Adventure’, hosting Rustic students in his own village!
Khampao is a star member of our leadership team in Laos. He completed three years of vocational study in electronics in Luang Prabang before joining Rustic Pathways seven years ago. In that time, Khampao has developed his program leadership skills, and his charm and quick smile make him a favorite with our students. Khampao grew up in Xayaboury, the province with the highest number of elephants in all of Laos, and lends his childhood experiences there to the Lao Elephant Retreat and Luang Prabang program. A newlywed, Khampao looks forward to starting a family of his own in the next few years.
Born in Burma’s Bago Division, Lin Lin Ooh has been an integral member of the Rustic Pathways team for more than nine years. Ooh is fluent in Burmese, English, and Thai, and is known throughout the organization for his strong leadership skills. He has traveled extensively throughout Southeast Asia and the U.S. as one of our key senior program managers. Ooh is now the manager of our beautiful base in Luang Prabang, Laos.