Rest In Peace, Dear Maya

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As many of you know, our kitty Maya passed away. Maya gave us (and many others) lots of love – she was the sweetest cat that we ever knew. We are very grateful that during her last weeks she was surrounded by friends and family that gave her lots of love and attention. Maya, we’ll…

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The Wealth of Nations

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In the morning, Joan brought me over to meet her host family, so I could watch the mother working at her loom. The father, meanwhile, was cutting tobacco up for drying. It was interesting to see them at work and get a sense of how they produced goods for the local markets. It was a…

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The Village Dance

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From bottomlands as flat and green as a lake, the mountains soar skyward all around us, improbably high and straight-sided. With the smoke of burning rice paddies drifting between them, they look like the crumbling teeth of fallen dragons. After climbing and descending a few mountain passes, we leave this stunning scenery behind us and…

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Slices of life

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For our final full day in Luang Prabang, Karel and I meandered through the old town and visited one of the ancient temples. We stopped for a cooling drink on a terrace overlooking the river and watched people crossing a rickety-looking bamboo bridge (which gets washed away every year during rainy season), two young monks…

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How to ride an elephant

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For our first full day in Luang Prabang, we started at the ethnology museum. There are three major and several minor ethnic groups that comprise the population; we learned a bit about their origins, clothing, and cultures. Then we drove out of town to a beautiful waterfall, where we swam in the limestone pools. On…

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