The simple life

I wake up to roosters crowing, old hens clucking like they know something.
I just want to sleep in but there’s Mom rushing –
“Load up the van, find a sinh to wear, don’t forget the paa bieng, tie up your hair.” Continue reading The simple life


The people we carry

First birthday in Nakhon Phanom with Mom, Xang Noy, and his mother

I’m convinced that people who come into your life never truly leave, good or bad.   They become part of your history but, more importantly, you carry them with you.  At the very least, they shape your memories; few of them will shape your opinions and world views.  Fewer still will lead you to the places you are meant to go.  Some of them weigh heavier on your heart than others and stay closer to the forefront of your thoughts.  But they all become part of you.   Continue reading The people we carry

Home is where….

I’ve been experiencing this nagging feeling the past few weeks.

It started the day my mom, Paa, and Loung Facetimed me from the Korean airport, en route to Laos.  We bought Mom an iPad so that she could “see” us when we couldn’t come home from wherever we are.  And apparently, since she is more of a world traveler than I am these days, we need it to keep up with her.   Continue reading Home is where….

Article 22: Buying Back the Bombs

I am not usually the type to glom on to a fundraising marketing campaign of any sort, and I think this comes from a healthy amount of skepticism that the funds are allocated in the most responsible manner.

Recently I happened across this documentary about Article 22, a distribution company that helps Lao artisans sell jewelry made out of recycled bomb metal.  I don’t know for sure if 100% of the proceeds go directly to the cause, or if a percentage is taken for operational costs.  As far as I can tell, most of the money goes towards clearing unexploded ordinance (UXO) and the rest goes into economic development in Laos.  Here are the reasons this campaign is worth your attention: Continue reading Article 22: Buying Back the Bombs

Improv spaghetti in Southeast Asia

Towards the end of our stay in Laos, my family asked me to make something “American” for dinner.  I was happy to oblige, especially considering they had been feeding me for nearly three months.  Feeding me too well, in fact – I think I gained at least 10 pounds during that visit eating mainly noodles, tilapia, shrimp, and vegetables.   Continue reading Improv spaghetti in Southeast Asia