October 29, 2014

Public-Private Child Nutrition Partnership Develops Lao ‘Superkids’

UNICEF Laos, 10 June 2014

Public and private sector partners united in Savannakhet Province in the Lao PDR today to kick-start the ‘1000 Day Project.’ This important initiative targets child nutrition in three provinces (Savannakhet, Saravan, and Attapeu) and sets the stage for further expansion across Lao PDR.

October 28, 2014

Travelling Salesman

Always the enterprising and entrepreneurial...

A different kind of travelling salesman than what some people might be used to seeing.  Here's one with all his wares on his motorbike. 

Lao travelling salesman with wares packed on his motorbike

October 24, 2014

Lao Artist Profile: Mr. Sounthone

Here are a few paintings from Vientiane artist, Sounthone, 58.  Love the colors, textures and mix of styles.  A mix of cubism and impressionism styled paintings.

Painting by Lao Painter SounthonePainting by Lao Painter Sounthone

October 22, 2014

Fred Branfman, Who Exposed Bombing of Laos, Dies at 72

By William Yardley, New York Times, Oct. 6, 2014

Fred Branfman in his Washington office with photos of bombing damage and victims, in 1972. 
Photo Credit:  George Tames/The New York Times.

The Vietnam War was raging when Fred Branfman went to Laos in 1967 as an international aid worker. Determined to immerse himself in the society, he lived with an elderly villager, learned to speak Laotian and became a translator. In time, he met Laotians who told him something startling: There was a second war in their country, a secret American bombing campaign, that was devastating remote villages.

October 18, 2014

Cute Little Cartoon, Big Message

A short animated video entitled "What If".  It's about drunk driving which is unfortunately still a common occurrence in Laos.  It's a cute little cartoon film with a big message.  Have a look.

It was created by Phouthasone Keomoungkhoune and Tata Keovilay.  It was a submission in the Mini-Vientianale Short Film Competition 2014, held in March.

WHAT IF by Phouthasone Keomoungkhoune, Mini-Vientianale Short Film Competition 2014 from Vientianale on Vimeo.

October 17, 2014

UK Cigarette Firm Criticised Over Laos Tobacco Tax Deal

Campaigners say agreement between Imperial Tobacco and the Laos government boosted sales by keeping prices low, and deprived the poor country of million of pounds of tax revenue.
The Guardian (UK newspaper), October 5 2014

Big tobacco sees Asia as a growing market, and keeping prices, and taxes, down is a key strategy. Photograph: Frederic J Brown/AFP/Getty Images

A British tobacco giant has been accused of depriving taxpayers in Laos, one of Asia's poorest countries, of tens of millions of pounds, having struck a special tax deal with its government lasting a quarter of a century.

October 16, 2014

Literature Review: Vientiane: Transformations of a Lao Landscape

Title:  Vientiane: Transformations of a Lao Landscape
By:  Marc Askew, William S. Logan, Colin Long
Publisher/Year:  Routledge, 2007
ISBN:  9780415596626
Price: $30-40USD
Book cover picture of Vientiane: Transformations of a Lao Landscape

October 06, 2014

Bug Art!

There is something to be said about the beauty of colors and patterns found in mother nature's creatures, even amongst her smallest ones.

For the entomologist in us all, here's a small collection of beautiful insects, including beetles and butterflies, found in Laos.  Even if bugs gross you out, you can't deny these ones are pretty!

Picture of Lao insect postcard photographed by Xavier Gourmelon 2003
Photo Credit:  Xavier Gourmelon, 2003

October 04, 2014

Tea Growing in Phongsali

Found some interesting photos from a photographer named Alberto Buzzola documenting the tea harvest and processing in Phongsali, Laos.

Tea leaves are harvested from both 400 years old tall trees to low lying shrub varieties of the common camellia sinensis plant.  Much of this is exported to Yunnan, China for use in pu'erh tea

 Photo Credit:  Alberto Buzzola, 2013