Tam Lao

Soundtrack: Bad Romance by Lady Gaga (Rara ah ah ah Rama ra ma ma Gaga Ooh la la)

You know what sucks is visas. Thailand's are especially baffling because you basically get a free one... unless you're staying for more than 90 days (which wouldn't have been a problem for me until I decided to extend), at which point you have to up and cross the border, pay that country's visa fee and jump back Thai side.

Boo, Laos, all on my own this time and cranky for the most of it. I got a few knick knacks for the fam (sneak peek to the left. Yes, that's a blow torch) and dropped off the books I borrowed from the senior couple (good) and spent a good part of Lao in transit, and then either wandering or napping/pouting in my hot room (not so good).

Luckily, two of my favorite people live within an hour of the Thai-Lao border. These two ladies gave me a lot of hell when they were my companions but somehow through it all I ended up a better missionary. And we ended up great friends. They still pick on me quite a bit, come to think of it, but in that I know they really love me and just don't know how to show it kind of way. We listed to a lot of Lady Gaga the few days I was there (PS She is a FREAK). Ae and I watched Law and Order (I Hate crime shows but MAN are they addicting) while she recouped from her recent surgery (her cute niece thought my prickly leg hair was a rash). We spent time at the mall (MK, perfume shopping and the fish spa where Tik was working (slash playing on facebook all day). Love/hate (but mostly love) them
On the way back from Udon I got to go to church in Khon Kaen, my last area. There are some seriously fabulous members there. Dif is a girl who got baptized while I was there and is pretty much my soul mate (I mean, I get what it's all about because of her). Since I left she got a husband, a baby, her patriarchal blessing and three new front teeth (they were missing when I was there). :)Photos taken by my sweet new phone (even though it looks like I photoshopped my same face in both of these pictures and changed the lighting)


Little Miss Lisa

Soundtrack: Girl, Put Your Record On by Corinne Bailey Rae
Okay I feel like a bit of a creep posting all these pictures (don't let the hand holding confuse you about our friendship) and an ode to one of my top people, but I've got to somehow document just how great it was having Miss Lisa as a my travel companion for the last 10 weeks. It all started ditching Peter's Nonprofit Management class for big cookies at Legend's Grille (mmm cookies sound good). The crazy idea of meeting up in Asia turned into a two and a half month party where we documented only a fraction of what we learned, who we met and all the adventures in between. I didn't know her all that well before our trip- our cookies and a handful of Skyped planning conversations while she was living in Taiwan. We had a few mutual friends so I knew she couldn't be too crazy. Turns out she is crazy; but the good kind. The kind that you want next to you on a bus and the beach as well as in meeting with NGO officials and touring sites. As you can see from the pictures, we hit 4 countries in about as many outfits and had a blast. We laughed (hysterically sometimes), we cried (just once... damn you Carrie Underwood for bringing out my inner female). Through hospital runs and toxic hostels, til real life (read: full-time job and actual responsibilities) do us part. I'm going through withdrawals... Miss you Lisa!

Airport-Burma-Thailand-Laos-Cambodia-Good bye!