All posts tagged: Legacies of War

Ambassador to Laos, The Honorable Rena Bitter visits the PacNW and Discusses Building Bridges

Former President, Barack Obama’s presidency was full of historical firsts. Everyone knows about the larger scale accomplishments, but only a small country like Laos, and its people around the world, would even care enough to know about the smaller stuff. I’m talking, of course, about the historical visits to Laos from Secretary Hillary Clinton to said President himself, a couple of years ago. While the homeland can only view it positively – the Lao diaspora ran the gamut of emotions. Not unexpected, considering it’s been a little over 40 years since the diaspora began. While some of us have made it back home for a visit, the disappearance of Sombath Somphone raises the dormant alarms we never quite forgot. It’s as if we were lulled into a semi-safe space by a lethargic dance-off only to have the Bogeyman reappear after we washed our makeup off. Regardless, with 40 years of time passing, the doors to some kind of positive relationship appear to at least be open. I couldn’t say if that is an insanely long …

Coming Full Circle

Photo courtesy of BiiG Travel Laos I’m standing in front of the door of the place I’ve always wanted to be. Less than two inches of wood stands between me and my dream. It took awhile to get here but I finally made it. The journey has been turbulent and full of twists and turns. I’m thinking back on when it all truly started. It’s the summer of 2012 and my family and I are in Laos. I have this strange feeling my dad is conditioning us to the Lao life: Everyday is filled with wonder, every alley a chance for exploration, and every new face an opportunity for casual exchanges to reflect on the wonders of life. One day, my aunt, an associate working for a non-profit in the city, asks me if I want to go with her. I agree, having had enough of my old routine of meaningless meandering. We hop into her white, Chinese compact car and make our way to her workplace. The drive is short, as the destination is …