salute her when her birthday comes.

Sunday, May 30th, 2010


I am a very lucky girl.

Here’s how it went down: A raucous island party on a remote Sumatran lake, my 25th birthday, a long out-of-touch middle school friend, local palm wine, a traditional Indonesian skirt, and a seriously kickass time.

To rewind a bit–a few months ago I reconnected with an old friend and as two international expats from our rural Oregon town, we had everything in common. He was planning a trip out to Indonesia to meet his new step-family, and B and I were in need of a tropical scene and renewed visas.

A bit of simple planning and a couple short flights later, we (re)met, had a beer, chewed the fat, and meshed into the ideal traveling trio.

We spent the next week on this Sumatran island: A supremely clean lake to jump a few meters from our front door, motorbikes to troll the mountain villages on, a plethora of fresh pineapple juice and avocados and a crew of local and traveling friends.

For my birthday, a week into our Indonesian travels, these two amazing, kind and often ridiculous boys pulled off a pretty spectacular evening complete with chocolate cake, too much fun, and a serenading local band that made this far-from-home-girl feel perfectly loved.

So, to my two favorite tank-top clad boys: terimakasih.

High water risin’, rising night and day.

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

At Pi Mai, things get a little crazy.

The Lao people take their new year’s celebration quite seriously. It’s a time to cleanse the soul, wash away the old, and, well, party your ass off.

Buckets of water are dumped, torrential rainstorms appear from nowhere, and the Beerlao intake is tripled.

So, to explain, here a few pictures from B from that whacky, wet and hot as hell week.

During Pi Mai, water is holy. You wash yourself, drench your friends, cleanse the Buddah, and jump in the river. So a day hanging with some favorite tots in Pha Theung, we put the fear of parasites behind us, and jumped in the Nam Ou.

At our first basii ceremony of the week, whiskey Lao was passed furiously throughout. The face, here, of our friend and co-worker, pretty much says it all.

For months Noy has talked about the big New Year’s match of the women’s national team. You’d never know from her face that her team got crushed, because, like she says, ‘we try very hard and have fun, so bo ben nyueng.’

This is my girl, Nut. For the entire time I’ve known here she has worn the same tattered green dress. But, for Pi Mai, everyone gets a new article of clothing. Of course Nut, the cutest human alive, got a bright banana yellow dress.