Monday, April 30, 2012

Hand Hearts

This is my sweet friend Bee.

She likes to make hearts with her hands!

 Shadow hearts...

Spectacle hearts...

Even upside down hearts. (I clearly have a lot to learn about making hand hearts.)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Lao Comfort Food

Hong and I go to the same fish restaurant almost every Saturday for lunch. For a long time, we got the same thing- a whole grilled fish, long bean salad and sticky rice. Then we discovered that they also serve one of Hong's favorite foods- Goy Ba.

Goy Ba is made with fish, mint, long beans, and lots of other herbs and spices. We also ordered fish soup and (of course) sticky rice. It's so delicious that we've never gone back to plain grilled fish.

I never thought I'd call fish soup a 'comfort food'. But this definitely is! The broth is so flavorful and the fish is so meaty and filling.

 If you're lucky, you'll get the fish's head!

 Annnnd here's another picture of Hong with a puppy. (NOT a comfort food.)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Two Tiny Animals

I finally was able to hold one of the sweet puppies! It looks like I'm crying. I'm actually not.

 Hong held one too! It looks like he's imitating a puppy face. He actually is.

Then I caught a gecko!



He kept trying to climb up my shirt onto my back. Cute little guy. He seemed to get more and more calm the longer I held him.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


This is Mama's third litter.


Those little feet!

And that little tongue! 



Mmmmmm puppies! I can't wait until she lets me hold them!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Two Sweet Things

Two sweet things happened last night:

This ridiculous ice cream with pears and chocolate at a French restaurant...

 ...and Mama with her new teeny puppies under a van!

Thursday, April 19, 2012


You may have noticed in my last post about rambutan that I have a few scrapes on my hand and face. I was in an accident on Tuesday.

But I’d rather look at the positive, so just assume that the answer to all of the following questions is ‘yes’.

~Are both you and your friend who was riding with you okay?

~Were you rear-ended by a van?

~Were your injuries minor?

~Did the accident happen directly in front of the office where your fiancée works?

~Did the accident also happen directly in front of a Pharmacy?

~Was Hong able to negotiate with the van driver and police so that you had to pay much less money than you expected?

~Did your friend call the sweetest Korean lady ever to drive you home in her air-conditioned car and did she buy you orange juice on the way home?

~Were the damages to your motorbike minor and inexpensive to repair?

~Did Hong buy you a mint-chocolate shake and then also let you have most of his mango passion fruit shake?

~Are you happy with how you handled the situation?

~Will you post pictures of your wounds?

Just kidding. The answer to that last question is NO. That’s gross. I will not post wound pictures unless they show up naturally in a picture I was going to post anyway.

In other news, check out this sunrise we had yesterday!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

In Season- Rambutan

Rambutan is one of the weirder looking tropical fruit that we have here. It's also very refreshing on these extremely hot and humid days.

This is a rambutan! In Lao it's called Mak Ngo. Mak means fruit. Ngo is the actual name. The vowel is so short. It's a very glottal sound and is still really difficult for me to pronounce!

 This is the inside of a rambutan.

 This is the part of the rambutan that you can eat. There is a white seed on the inside.

Once you're finished eating a rambutan, it seems wrong to just throw away the hilarious-looking rind. But what should you do?

Why, put them in your eyes, of course!

 Hong got the hang of it much faster than I did...

 ...but I got it eventually. Sort of.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A few more Lao New Year pictures

Check out this awesome sand cave that Hong's sister made! With those trees, it makes me think of Narnia.

This lady didn't think much of getting water poured on her while she prepared food...

...but she gave him what for!

Here's Hong giving his cousin some blessings. Check out that water tension!

Seriously, check it out! The properties of water amaze me.

I loved Jonah's little Lao New Year duds. 

And here's another picture of Hong with the baby powder. So hilarious. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Lao New Year day 3

On the third day of Pi Mai Hong and I traveled about 45 minutes outside of Vientiane to Nong Paen village.

When we arrived, Hong's sister-in-law prepared meatballs for lunch. (In Lao, meatballs are called luk seen = meat child)

Then the water 'playing' began. It was way less intense than the water fights we had the day before. Most of the time, the water was lovingly poured down your back while the person doing the pouring said some kind of blessing.

However, they also very much enjoy taking you by surprise. I should have known from this lady's expression that something was up.

The water was freezing cold! But that day the temperature was in the upper 90s, so I couldn't complain.

Hong's cousin and I bonded over three things: our awesome shorts, our matching water guns, and our love of shooting each other in the face when least expected. 

Then we played lots of games! I didn't get any pictures of the water games because I participated in those ones. But there was also musical chairs...

 ...and a game where you need to pass rubber bands to your teammates using only straws.

Hong added another obstacle to the game- he went around blowing baby powder in people's faces while they tried to concentrate. I could not stop laughing.

After that, all the guys played football.

And we knew it was time to go home when a herd of cows stormed the field.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Lao New Year day 2

It was so much fun to spend time with Hong's family during the second and third days of Pi Mai. On Day 2, we split into two trucks with trashcans full of water. We rode around for about an hour and a half getting into water throwing fights with other trucks full of people as well as people having parties on the side of the road. 

I SO wish I had a waterproof camera. There were some excellent moments I wish I could have captured. Maybe next year!

After we were all tired of driving around, we walked down the beach to the Mekong river. 

We took goofy pictures...

...had a sandcastle building competition...

...and played in the water.

One of my favorite things about the Mekong is how beautiful the sunsets are.

Stay tuned for Lao New Year day 3! (Coming soon as long as the internet holds out!)