All posts filed under: Social Justice

The Lao Diaspora Through the Eyes of an Expat

I remember it being a day brimming with possibilities. True to mark, it should so happen through the greatest of chances, that I met Ms. Julia Sophia Zimic* later that day. Julia is a Brazilian-born Austrian expat living in Luang Prabang, operating a guest house and jam-making business. She also has a strong interest in the stories of the Lao Diaspora Community, having worked several years in Germany with refugees, helping them acclimate to their new lives. It’s the middle of the rainy season and the sky is in a constant state of gloom. My uncle has to go up to Luang Prabang for a business trip and lets me tag along. It is dusk by the time we arrive in Luang Prabang. After checking in to our guesthouse, we freshen up and part ways for the night; my uncle going to meet with some friends, and me once again, with no clear destination in mind. Alone, I wander about the small historic town, passing by old haunts. Dusk might be this city’s best time …

The Young Mother: The Story of an Arranged Marriage

The sun was getting real low and there was nothing whatsoever to do in my dingy room at the guesthouse. I was stuck. Viengthong District, a small, rural town deep in the mountainous heart of Bolikhamxay Province, is a town with absolutely no single point of interest. Surrounded on all sides by mountains and lush, green forests; the main road cuts through the heart of the town, a point that originates from an intersection that diverts to Lak Sao. Lak Sao, a logging hub once bustling with commuting traffic in and out of Vietnam, remains the destination of the road. Lak Sao, located in the the northern reaches of Laos, not Viengthong District, is why you might encounter another human being. I was bored. Pulling the cobwebs from my mind, I let my natural search for adventure guide me. I slipped on my running shoes and stepped out for a walk. Walking around, you’d see what you’d typically see in a lightly developed, rural town in Laos: cattle roaming freely on the road, the occasional …