Manophet: Lonely Buffalo

I had the pleasure of meeting a gentleman in Laos, Manophet, whose life story is pretty amazing. As a farmer, monk, soldier, singer, translator, teacher, and father, his life was full of triumph and tragedy, that should make us all think about our own selfish desires and priorities. I’m saddened to hear that he passed away due […]

Lathsene Village Schoolkids

From our trip to Laos.  The preschool location was in Xieng Khouang Province, one of the most bombed areas in Laos, and one of the poorest.  The region also has the sad honor of being first in bombie farming accidents.  Lathsene village lacked running water and even electricity, but the schoolchildren and villagers treated us […]

Laos: Director’s Cut

Life can either be a tragedy or a comedy.  I know almost all of my posts recapping my 15 days in Laos have been about the struggles and problems in current day Laos, from the point of view of an artist/photographer, but I did manage to have some fun.  In all the other posts I […]

Laos: Food

Ah yes, the most important part of the trip…the food!  Like I mentioned, I weighed the least, but ate the most.  Sadly, still super skinny…. p.s. the “S” in Laos is silent!

Traveling through Laos with Friends

Here are the people that I traveled through Laos with.  All amazing and kind hearted people with some connection and empathy towards Laos and its people. (Please excuse my silly bios) 🙂 1] FB Writer, Interviewer, Cookie Thief, Author of “Voices from the Plain of Jars,” helped to expose the secret war in Laos to the U.S. Government and […]

Thak Baht, Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang, the old Royal Capital of Laos, has always been known as a jewel amongst the already beautiful landscape of Laos.  I’d always wanted to go, but I would honestly have to say that it’s not quite what I expected.  The first chance I had to walk around this UNESCO World Heritage City, I […]

Champa House, Luang Prabang

There’s an interesting establisment in Luang Prabang, a house/non profit set up by Prince (Chao) Somsanith Nithakhong, a Lao artist of royal descent.  (He recently made an appearance on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations episode on Laos) Educated in Laos and France, intelligent and eloquent in many languages, he spoke to us about the mission of […]

Poverty

A tad bit sunny and warm, but in the shade there’s this lovely breeze coming in from the mountains and hills of Xieng Khouang. Dozing off sitting outside, listening to the sounds of chicks and the mother hen, pecking around the airport. Hi-tech and modern, this is not. There’s a little girl squeaking around, her […]

Ban Pahn, Bomb Crater Village

This was another village in Xieng Khouang that the group visited, in hopes of finding another place needing a preschool.  The “road” from Phonsavanh to Ban Panh made the road to Samneau seem like a pleasure cruise, and I had to walk around to clear my head.  It was crazy how after 30 plus years, there […]

375 of 374

She was 12 years old when the missile was launched into the cave that killed 374 of her fellow villagers.  She had been living there for two years, and could remember how the airplanes made the landscape barren and treeless.  On the night before the missile struck inside the cave, she ran out to visit […]

Tham Pui Cave

The Xieng Khouang area is so pretty, with rolling hills and cool weather.  Even in August, the mornings are cool and so vastly different from the swamp like weather in Vientiane.  It was a slight struggle though, climbing up the steps on the small mountain that housed Tham Pui cave, a home to many poor […]

Kow Piek

Another morning in Phonsavanh, Xieng Khouang, another trip to the noodle shop.  When I stepped out of the hotel today, the boys were busy sweeping the concrete.  It was more like creating a dust storm though, as they seemed more interested in playing than earning morning rice or bread that the hotel owner would give […]

Sanga Restaurant Art Class

It became a recurring thing, the Hmong “Lost Boys” coming up to us, and asking us to buy them shoes or pants.  It’s a tough predicament to be in.  On the one hand, just giving away money encourages life on the streets.  Turn your back on the hungry, and of course it makes you feel bad for […]

Laos: A Country of Contrasts / Scrap Metal Foundry

Laos is one of the most beautiful and lush countries in all of Southeast Asia.  Even though the people in the remote villages don’t have electricity or running water, or a very high standard of living, the earth provides so much, that there isn’t as much belly rumbling as in other parts of the world.  […]

Bounmi and Toumi

At the Consortium, we met Bounmi and Toumi.  They were volunteers helping educate others on the dangers of UXO’s.  Xieng Khouang province in Laos ranks second behind Savannakhet province in terms of contamination, but first in casualties, as well as having the dubious honor of having some of the poorest villages.  From January to August […]

Lathsene Village Preschool, Xieng Khouang

This was the site for a new preschool in Lathsene Village in Xieng Khouang province, part of a “Schools Not Bombs” campaign.  The village is somewhat remote, past the plains of jars site one, and nestled in farmland and cornfields.  The village has no electricity and the earthy pastureland smell hits you as you step […]

Jia, Thuy and the Plain of Jars

I got up early once again and decided to walk around Phonsavanh, Xieng Khouang. The town reminds me of an old Western, with its main road and hotels and stores on either side. I was told that this emerging city was where the locals moved to after the bombings 30 plus years ago. While strolling […]

Manophet’s English School

I wanted to stay a bit longer to catch the sunset on the Plain of Jars, but next on the agenda was visiting an English learning school, run out of the house of a person I’d wanted to meet for a long time. I first found out about a Lao gentleman named Manophet through a […]