1. A neighboring Lao puppy decided we would be his owners.
2. Craig and I negotiate the lease for a yoga space (working on the interior excites me very much).
3. Experienced my first Hmong new year at a Hmong village close to where we live. This festival takes usually takes place before the end of the twelfth lunar calendar month, when the harvest is finished and foods are abundant. Men and mostly women dress in elaborately colored and embroidered outfits.
4. Our first visitor, Nikki, spent over two weeks here. In that time we traveled to what I call the “emerald town” (Nong Khiaw). Pure enchantment.
5. Bananas are baked over coals on the streets in Laos. Finally tried one. It tastes like, uh, a dried out banana. If it were dipped in chocolate, I’d be more excited.
6. Some expat friends play tennis on a regular basis and invited me. Hadn’t played since my pops and I would rally around at the Victory Park courts in Pasadena when I was 11 years old.
7. Cashed in a much needed and coveted raffle prize, massage for two at the Amantaka Hotel. Let me just say this…bliss.
8. I’m a birthday person. Being new here, I wondered if there would be much of a celebration. A table of 12 at my favorite restaurant said otherwise. Loved that night.
9. A visit to Vientiane (Laos capital) was the small dose of city we needed. Our lovely hostess created a African dinner for us during our stay.
10. A 25km ride through some dusty, bumpy roads was considered my last initiation as scooter driver. I wish I could say I was graceful about it.
11. FINALLY had my first Lao language class. Koi mak khao niow. (I like sticky rice.) Impressed?