All posts filed under: Education

Spoken Words: Hopes and History Passed Forward

One of my most favorite childhood memories were the nights I got to sleep with my “Gux Taaix” (great grandmother). I would curl up in her full-sized bed, tuck my little body in right next to her, pull the covers up above my ears, and ask if she was ready to “gorngv gouv” or story tell. She almost always said yes. What I remember most in those moments, was how these stories; more like fairy tales, made me feel. My highly active child imagination craved the comfort and familiarity of her voice but even further, I admired her ability to captivate me with nothing but her spoken words. As I grew older, I began to realize that this remarkable talent she had was not just specific to her, but something that was a result of years of tradition, something that is also inherent within me. Iu Mien and Khmu people have always carried our stories with us. In some ways, it’s hard not to feel that these stories are only small pieces informing a much …

Lao Life: Food is the Ultimate Social Experience

It is a blessing to be able to appreciate youth at a young age. It is a blessing to be able to taste good food while your taste buds are still fully functional (assuming you have stellar ones to begin with). I spent my wonderful teen years in Laos; living the life of a poor vagabond, rich in experiences. I knew a life where happiness came from the company of good friends and a table decked with good food. Everything was cheap and simple because we were all broke and bumming off of our parents, anyways.  We were truly happy. In 2017, $10 could feed a group of at least five! We did not have shopping malls filled with brand name shops or the money to spend in “hi-so” (expensive/luxurious) restaurants but we had sunsets on a river’s bend and heaven at a roadside food stall. My friends were an eclectic bunch: from humble farm boys to business owners, from the very young to the very old; my requirements were not age or background specific, …