This coffee growing village in Laos was one of the few places I’ve visited twice with Oxfam. When I first went the farmers had just received training, facilitated by Oxfam Australia, to improve their production techniques and switch from growing the robusta coffee plant to the more lucrative and difficult to grow arabica. This change was followed up with introductions to new buyers in Japan looking for a premium product. When I returned years later houses that were once wood were now concrete. Dirt roads were paved and perhaps most important kids were in school. The economic improvements hadn’t solved everything, there were new issues with the power dynamics and social structures, I couldn’t help wonder if money had polluted this place in a way. It was bitter sweet. But the big box was ticked, being the only thing that is truly shown to alleviate poverty to my understanding, girls in school.