Big Brother Mouse Book Covers Photo Album (link to post)
I put together a photo album of 30 of the book covers produced by Big Brother Mouse. I can't begin to tell you how important an achievement it is by BBM to begin publishing books that kids, big and small, want to read.
Monk Putting on his Robes (link to post)
When my wife was talking to her cousin who is a monk, I unobtrusively shot this sequence of photos as the monk put on his robe before entering the main hall for evening prayers.
Lao Promotion Video (link to post)
I would like to see Laos produce more videos like this, though I'm not sure who actually produced it. But it's done fairly well and has the "famous" Joe Cummings, the original author of the Lonely Planet giving his thoughts about Laos...
Lao Students are now Becoming Parrots (link to post)
This post features an article from the Vientiane Times lamenting the facts that rote learning is the norm for Lao students. The post with the video clip on the students of Ban Tha Din Daeng Tai School proves the case...
Ban Tha Din Daeng Tai School (link to post)
This post is about how I got involved with a Hmong school about 40 minutes south of Vientiane in a relocated Hmong village. Our YouTube video clip tells it like it is for most rural schools, of any ethnic group including the Lao Loum.
Reporting on Laos in Time Magazine, 1960 -1976 (link to post)
I have two posts in the blog where I have done all the hard work in going through all the online issues of Time Magazines searching for references to Laos. They begin in 1949 and I follow the articles up until 1976 and the end of the Vietnam and Secret Wars. These posts are very lengthy, but extremely interesting if you take the time to read through them. What's amazing to realize now what Laos has become so relatively inconsequential, Laos was mentioned/featured in 26 issues of Time in 1961! What I"ve done is take excerpts from the artilces where Laos is mentioned/featured and highlighted in red the passages that I think are particularly interesting/provocative. The real world reporting in Time reflects the time that the articles were wrote and you can get a perspective here you won't anywhere else.
YouTube Video of Hmong Girl Washing Clothes (link to post)
I just hope that people watching some of these video clips get a feel for the real Laos. I think there are many ways to look at a clip like this one, but for me the little girl's determination and commitment to the task at hand say a lot about the Hmong. If that little girl was given a chance for a decent education and the kind of opportunities our students have here in the states, I know she would do extremely well. Let's work to help little girls like this, let's embrace a spirit of reconciliation and extend a helping hand.
Why Laos? (link to post)
Laos is rarely studied in K-12 education and so I give a few reasons why I think it's important to study Laos.
Laos Essential Artistry YouTube Channel (link to post)
Wow, that's all I can say about YouTube. I'm a "Johnny-come-lately" I guess, and partly because YouTube is frowned upon in K-12 education and filtered out of Internet connections in most schools. But as a venue for sharing video it has unlimited potential and as someone who has shot a lot of video in Laos I'm looking forward to uploading a lot more video clips I think provide more insights into Laos.
Lantern, Sihos, Ngeuaks and Nagas (link to post)
Lao textiles are incredible works of art and it has been my privilege to guide a professor from Trinity College who has been doing research on the designs of Tai Daeng (Red Tai) textiles. I isolated some motifs in a textile I have and asked Elli to provide some insight into what the motifs mean.
Northern Laos Textile Research Tour - Dec. 2006 (link to post)
This is a summary of a guided research tour we gave for a professor doing research on Lao textiles. We traveled to some remote areas in northeastern Laos and the post links to two galleries of photos.
Reporting on Laos in Time Magazine (1949-1959) (link to post)
What I've done is to research all the past issues of Time Magazine beginning in 1949 which included the first mention of Laos. I think reading the excerpts I've provided provide an incredible insight into the American perspective on Laos and Southeast Asia and the leadup to the Vietnam War and "Secret War in Laos." I will provide another post on excerpted articles from 1960 to 1975 in the future.
Rice is Life (link to post)
One of my favorite picture books with a Southeast Asia theme. This one is set in Bali and the prose perfectly captures the essence of the rice growing season, in Bali, or anywhere in Asia, including Laos!
People Making a Difference in Laos (link to post)
Jim Harris, a retired principal from Wausau, is currently working part-time as a Project Manager and education consultant for a UXO (unexploded ordinance) company in Laos and has been keeping a journal when he’s been in Laos. He is a gifted storyteller and his journals provide an incredible insight into a Laos most people would never know about.
The Dynamic Women of Muang Sing (link to post)
Muang Sing is a frontier town in the northwestern part of Laos within miles of the China border. I have traveled there many times and have gotten to know some very talented women from three different ethnic groups, Tai Dam, Mien and Hmong. I tell their incredible story in this post.
Mai Moua's Grandma in Laos (link to post)
One of the highlights of my time in Laos was visiting the remote Hmong village in Luang Prabang Province where Mai Moua’s grandma lived and learning so much more about her life and the life of the Hmong in that village. Mai Moua was a second grader in my class in 1992 and since then I have become very close with her family. Two photo galleries are linked to this post.
YouTube video of Principal Planting Rice (link to post)
This YouTube video is of a principal planting rice, mountain style, so his family will have enough rice to eat the following year. It connects with the post on Teacher Pay in Laos
Teacher Pay in Laos (link to post)
In this post I include an article from the Vientiane Times on teacher pay. I also talk about the story of a principal and several other teachers I know. Teachers only get paid about $20-$30 a month, which is not enough to support a family.
The Lao are People of the Heart (link to post)
There are hundreds of words in the Lao language that include the word for heart, “jai.” In this post I talk about the significance of the word “jai” being included in so may words, why it is a reflection of the Lao people and list a number of the words that include “jai.”
Walking Together in Peace (link to post)
I have taken thousands of photos in Laos since 1998 and many of my photos have been used in a variety of publications and multimedia, including a photo of monks walking in Luang Prabang in a post card sent out by the University of San Diego to advertise a conference on “Walking Together in Peace” featuring keynote speaker, Thich Nhat Hanh. In the blog I am also including links to a number of photo galleries in Flickr of sets of photos taken in Laos that are available to be licensed.
Assembly Bill 78 (link to post)
In this post I tell the story of the history of AB 78 and how it was developed to introduce the "Secret War" (1961-1973) in Laos as a part of the curriculum in social sciences or in history at California Public School. There will be more posts coming in the fall of 2007 as I explore curriculum developed by Fresno Unified School District in response to AB 78.
Bombies (link to post)
This post looks at the issue of unexploded ordinance in Laos, especially bombies, and reviews an outstanding video produced by ITV in Canada and sold by Bullfrog Films that should be in all K-12 media libraries. Three years after the video was produced I talked with someone at Bullfrog films that said they had only sold three copies to California schools, and that included the one I worked at!
Hmong Storycloths Zoomified (link to post)
I talk more about the process of software zoomification in my first post back in November 2005, but in this post I link to large Hmong storycloths I zoomified with this process which allows you to zoom in on detail quickly over the Internet
Refugee Educators' Network Website (link to post)
Unfortunately the Refugee Educators’ Network has been disbanded, but this incredible website remains. Anyone interested in Southeast Asia, and especially the Hmong, Mien and Lao will find this site a treasure of resource material.
Saudi Aramco World Zoomifies (link to post)
What does it mean to zoomify a map/image? I went to the Zoomify.com website and it states, “Zoomifyer EZ makes using high-resolution images in your Web pages easy to do and fast to view! Show the world your photos, maps, scans - whatever - with no need to down-res, on any Web server, with just a tiny Flash movie and a few lines of HTML! Perfect for any Web designer!” Read more about it at this post.