From what I understood, many of your Lao Yankee wanted or planned to move back to settle down in Laos one day.
Regardless of the fact that it's possible or not, I think you should prepare yourself to be a full Lao, not a froreigner in the eyes of local Lao or Lao nai.
So, apart from teaching you guys to read/write in Lao, I would like to teach you to act like a Lao too.
What it means by acting like a Lao? I mean the way you walk, you sit, you stand etc.
Those things may be trivial but you won't be accept as a member of them if you don't act like a Lao.
It's human's instinct to welcome people who act the same way as they do. They can tell whether you are in the same tribe or not (in addition to listening to your speaking) by looking at how you walk, how you sit or how you greet etc.
And the first thing I want to talk today is "how to sit like a Lao."
And sitting here I doesn't mean sitting on a chair or sitting on the floor, but sitting on your feet in the nature.
Actually, Lao people don't have a unique way of sitting.
For thousands of year, people in Asia, Africa and islanders share the same primitive way of sitting like this.
Both male and female squat like that.
It's the basic way of sitting of people in those regions, including Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, all SEA, islanders, East Asia, Africa, India etc.
But for farangs in Europe or America, it's hard to see them squat like this.
I am not sure how Lao yankee sit, but I think they sit like farangs, i.e. sit on the knee or have your heel up above the ground, not on the whole feet, spreading legs like this.
Because when you are in America, you need to sit like them in order to be accepted into their tribe. So, you have to sit like farangs.
But now you are planning to move back to Laos, you need to learn how to sit properly like a local people, otherwise, you won't be accept as a Lao.
When I go to bannok Thailand, if I sit like farang while other local peoples squat, I won't be accepted as a local, I will be treated like Bangkokian.
But when I squat, I will be accepted into the same tribe with them.
So, learn to squat today.
Otherwise, you will be just an american, no matter how good your Lao speaking is.
Hope you find it helpful.