Happy New Year to all my faithful readers. May 2009 be all that you hope to be and may you have good health and prosperity and all the good things life has to offer. Keep on smiling no matter what.
On October 17, 2008 I made a visit to Dannavieng Elementary School in Muang Phonethong, Champasak Province. This is one of the four schools that received a Book Box Library in February of 2007. Dannavieng Elementary School also received additional financial assistance with their school building project.
Merry Christmas everyone. Christmas time is when we all gather as a family for those that can and share the moments. Over here the Dutch celebrate Christmas for two days, the first and second Christmas so you can actually share this special time with all your relatives. It’s a good idea really to be able to spend the first Christmas let’s say with your mother’s relatives and the second Christmas with your father’s relatives. This way there’s no need to take turn to celebrate with one side of…
Lunch in Vientiane, Laos with Tum Mak Teng (Spicy Cucumber Salad) and Ping Pa (Grilled Fish). My cousin Khek cooked some sticky rice and then grilled the fishes while Aunt Phone was busy making the spicy cucumber salad. Tum Mak Teng and Ping Pa make a great combination with warm sticky rice.
Kaeng Nor Mai (Lao Bamboo Shoot Soup) and Ping Kob (Grilled Frog) for lunch in Vientiane, Laos. Aunt Kian and Aunt Phone made the bamboo shoot soup and grilled frog to go with warm sticky rice and Jeow Mak Phet (Chili Pepper Dipping Sauce). I have never eaten bamboo shoot soup with grilled frog but my two aunts said the two dishes go together quite well. Who am I to argue with that and will have to give it a try in the future.
Steamed Fish (Neung Pa) and Rattan Shoot Stew (Or Nor Yair) with beef for lunch in Vientiane, Laos. Aunt Kiane and Aunt Phone were having a craving for stew with something a little bitter and decided to make Or Nor Yair. The aunts also made Neung Pa, Jeow Mak Len, steamed Pak Kard Na (Chinese broccoli) and snow pea for the family members that are not so fond of Rattan Shoot Stew.
I was too sick and didn’t have appetite for anything to eat yesterday and only ate package soup all day. For dinner I made Laap Herring to cheer myself up using toasted rice I brought back from Laos.
My relatives at Ban Phaling in Champasak Province, Laos still use water buffalo to help with the sticky rice farm, rather than relying on modern farm machinery to plow the land.
After a visit to my grandmother’s house, a hair cut, and lunch with uncle Khao, I went to Gok Pho Market with my cousin, Khek for a grocery shopping. We bought fishes, herbs, and vegetables, and other ingredients to make Fish Wrap or Pun Pa.
For my first day in Vientiane I had to deliver the money that my Mama sent to my two uncles and to get a hair cut at my Mair Huk’s place. Mair Huk is comparable to godmother in the west. I asked uncle Khao to take me to my Grandmother’s house. It’s more like three houses on one divided plot of land now. My uncle was not there and the neighbor told me he was at a boun for Alms Giving. I then asked for the address of…
It was a smooth 45 minutes flight from Bangkok, Thailand to Vientiane, Laos. When I got outside, aunt Phone and the rest of the family members were there to greet me along with Sidney and her parents. Aunt Kian was not there because she left for Pakse the day I flew to Thailand since Grand-Mama was in the hospital. No one from my mother’s side showed up because I told them it was not necessary since my flight was at night. I also told my cousin Ty Noy…
On October 17, 2008, I made my third and last visit to Houaylao Elementary School to hand over $200 that was requested by the teachers for installing electricity at the school. During my second visit to Houaylao school, the teachers informed me of how little they have in terms of annual budget. They don’t even have the resource to complete the school and still looking for assistance so they can add windows, doors, and give some finishing touches to the school. What they needed the most though was…
I took a direct flight from Amsterdam Schiphol to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport for a connecting flight to Vientiane Wattay Airport. My flight was in the evening with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines which took only 8 hours and 20 minutes from Amsterdam to Bangkok. This is the better option than last year when I took Lufthansa Airlines and had to make two stops, first in Frankfurt, Germany and second at Bangkok, Thailand for a connecting flight to Vientiane, Laos.
My trip to Laos is over and I am back in the Netherlands (my home away from home) early this morning. The weather is cold and I feel so miserable because I am sick and was turning for the worse as I waited at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand.
I usually eat fruits for breakfast with soy milk back in Holland. After being in Laos for almost two months eating what was put on the table for me, I started to eat fruits and soy milk for breakfast to get back to my normal routines. For today’s breakfast it was tropical fruits salad and Galapao from Ah Pae Jua. As a kid living in Vientiane, my mother often bought Galapao (Chinese Steam Bun) from Ah Pae Jua as special treat for my siblings and I.
Khao Sangkhaya Nakhai made by Aunt Kiane’s friend for sale at a local market in Vientiane, Laos. This dessert can be a bit time consuming to make but worth the efforts. Khao Sangkhaya Nakhai is made by soaking sticky rice in water for at least 4 hours and steamed. Then a mixture of coconut milk, salt, and sugar is added to the rice and then steamed some more. The cooked sticky rice is served with coconut custard dressing. The custard is made by steaming a mixture of fresh…
Lunch time in Vientiane with Lao Green Papaya Salad with Crab and Fried Fish. The salad was bought from Gok Pho Market, the one place that I’ve been getting my papaya salad almost daily for two months in Laos. It was still crab season and the lady making the papaya salad always adds a few pieces of crab in the salad.
Baby Duck Eggs (Khai Louk Ped) as appetizer before dinner in Vientiane, Laos. There were guests coming to the house that evening for a small reunion. The male guests were having a craving for Baby Duck Eggs and BeerLao and made a request in advance for their favorite treat to be served at the party. Aunt Kian bought the baby duck eggs from Sikhay Market at a reasonable price, 10 eggs for 15,000 Kip and had my cousin Khek slowly cooked the eggs for hours before the guests…
Tum Mak Thua (Lao String Bean Salad) and Jeun Pa Douk (Fried Catfish) for lunch in Vientiane, Laos. Aunt Kian and Aunt Phone made this lunch especially for me since I’ll be leaving the country after tomorrow. They have been asking me what I would like to eat for lunch and dinner the past few days. I’ve made a few requests, nothing major but some of the dishes that my mother used to make for me when I was a kid in Laos.
There are plenty of street food vendors around Talat Sao (Morning Market) in Vientiane, Laos to keep me distracted while trying to cross the street. Crossing the street in Vientiane is dangerous enough and with all the commotions I’m always trying to take pictures of food along the walking path. I can block out the noises on the street easily, but the smell of the delicious food and snacks usually keeps me from getting to my destination at a normal pace.
Or Pa Douk (Lao Catfish Stew) and Jeow Padek (Chili and Fermented Fish Dipping Sauce) for dinner in Vientiane, Laos. I told Aunt Phone and Aunt Kian about how my mother used to make the catfish stew and the dipping sauce when I was a little kid in Laos. I asked my aunts if one of them could make Or Pa Douk and Jeow Padek so I can take pictures to show to my mother.