This is what 745 dollars can get you for a bathroom in Champasak Province of Laos. When we visited Mair Yar in January/February of 2007 there was no bathroom with sitting toilet and a decent place to take a shower. I suggested to my parents and relatives that they build a bathroom for Mair Yar. She has been refusing the contruction for many years saying that she doesn’t really need one and can use the one next door. I told her it would make it easier for her and for us when visiting her and she agreed to have a bathroom build with sitting toilet and a pool to collect water for shower and doing laundry.
Many people in this area have more than one jobs and are seasonal workers. They are farmers during the planting and harvesting season, then gardener and construction workers and other trades that would provide the extra income. Back in 2007, the estimation was 500 dollars for the bathroom. We buy the materials and the contractor would do the work. Of course when the dollar went down at the start of the construction in early 2008, a contractor gave us a quote for 750 dollars and gave 5 dollars discount. The relatives told my parents to help with the cost for only 500 dollars and they would pick up the rest of the bill.
The bathroom was scheduled to be completed by the time I went to Laos but that was not the case. The contractor is also a farmer and could only work on the bathroom during his spare time. He did a nice job from what I’ve seen and it was a fair deal since I know how expensive it is to build anything in Laos and how the contractors are paid according to their skills and experience. The ones with lower price you have to wait longer for anything to get done and can’t complain much.