Monday, February 21, 2011

Lao Hill Tribes Book Finally Arrives!

After almost two months the book, Lao Hill Tribes: Traditions and Pattern of Existence, for which I had been eagerly awaiting arrived late last week. I won't go into details about why it took so long. I am simply happy that it is finally here.

(Cover illustration: A Phunoi woman with her hair braided and fixed with beads. Click image to enlarge.)

When I picked it up from my friend's place, I was surprised by how small the book is. But don't let its minor dimensions fool you. What it lacks in bulk is more than compensated for with the wealth of fascinating information contained between its covers. I am really going to enjoy reading it.

The back of the book provides an overview about what lies within its pages. It states (and I quote):

The highly distinctive cultures and ethnic diversity of the Lao hill tribes, and the fact that so little has been written on them, make these groups and their fragile micro-cultures some of the most fascinating minorities left in the world, and the habitats of tribes living in the remoter regions of Laos, some of the least explored.
Because of decades of war and unfavourable political circumstances, Lao hill tribes have been relatively sheltered from foreign encroachments. However, as Laos begins to open up, visitors are increasingly given the opportunity to observe even the least publicized of these groups. Thus, though the semi-nomadic patterns of existence and the interminable wanderings of many hill tribes continue today, at no time in their history have they been so threatened, their way of life so vulnerable to extinction.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Loonies for Laos February 2011 Update

Since I started this pilot project in mid-December 2010, it has proven to be an unexpected success. This morning I did an official tally of all the money which has been collected. I am happy to report that there is a whooping sum of $98 in donations. That's two dollars shy of the money necessary to buy two water filters!

Shortly thereafter,  I emailed Steve, who is in Laos until April, to share this wonderful news. I informed him that I wanted this money for two water filter donations. On each water filter,  it would say the following:


My Best Friend Contributes to My Travel Fund

Last night my best friend, Jeremy, whom I have known since grade 1,  and his girlfriend dropped by my place for a short visit. While they were there, Jeremy and his girlfriend presented me with sixty dollars, which he explained was a donation for my Laos travel fund.