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 […]

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 […]

The Plain of Jars: Xieng Khouang, Laos

Looking back at the photos, I realized that the best images were the ones that didn’t focus solely on the jars, they were the ones of us.  Most had never been to the plain of jars, only read about it.  To this day archaeologists have no clue as to who made them.  This area of Laos […]