Tag Archives: holidays

Holiday Greetings from Lao Rugby

Happy holidays from Lao Rugby!

Check out the latest video I made for Lao Rugby highlighting all of their great events from this year.  I’ve loved being a part of lots of these events and taking photos of them, and am looking forward to their 2013 schedule.  In order to make all of this, and more, happen again next year (including more hilarious music videos) they need your support!

A little money will go a long way, so even if you can’t give a lot every bit counts:
$10 is enough to pay for a new rugby ball
$20 can provide new rugby boots for a Lao player
$30 can provide transportation to a training session for 25 kids
$50 can provide pitch rental and set up for a club game
$75 can sponsor one youth player’s full participation for one year
…and even more generous donations can help with admin costs, staff salaries, participation in international competitions, and more!  Donate and find out more information here.

And it’s not just about rugby…Lao Rugby’s programming also helps develop healthy living, leadership, and local capacity building.  It provides its players with access to new opportunities through their participation in sport.

Hope everyone has a happy and healthy holiday season!


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Filed under Laos, Vientiane

Giving Thanks

The holidays have probably been underway for weeks already in the States (Christmas music has probably been on since Halloween), but this past weekend finally started feeling like the holiday season here in Vientiane.  On Saturday, I got a little taste of America at the annual WIG (Women’s International Group) Bazaar.  This carnival was held all Saturday afternoon, with arts and crafts for sale, a raffle, games for kids, and lots of food, including stalls run by many of the local embassies.  Naturally, the American Embassy had the best baked goods, so I went back several times for cookies and cupcakes, after sampling some of the all-American chili.

Around the Thanksgiving table.

On Sunday the feasting continued with a big Thanksgiving dinner at our house.  Fourteen people gathered around our dining room table–mostly American but also Swedish and Australian–to celebrate one of my favorite American holidays.  Despite hurried day-of cooking and inevitable worries about having enough food, the table was absolutely overflowing, and the leftovers are still in the fridge.  Our feast included: turkey (special ordered from a local ex-pat grocer), stuffing (32 hand-shredded cups of bread), cranberry sauce (with pineapple), mashed potatoes (made by yours truly), gravy, green bean casserole, brussels sprouts, gratin, carrots, 2 types of salad, sweet potato latkes (with applesauce), and Brie biscuits. 

And for dessert: pumpkin pie, chocolate cake, shortbread cookies, and a Swedish pancake dessert.  In proper Thanksgiving style, everyone was completely stuffed by the end, so it was a definite success.  Between the food coma, the Christmas lights strung around our window, and the good friends gathered around the table, I really felt as though I was at home for the holidays.


Filed under Laos, Vientiane

Sardinian Roadtrip

It’s been awhile, but finally an update on Sardinia!  We arrived on the island from Milan on New Year’s Day, and headed straight to the car rental terminal…somehow they agreed to let us on the road and shortly after we were winding from Olbia to Sassari, along the rural highways of bella Sardegna, which was strikingly green, with flocks of sheep around every bend (source of the ever-present and delicious local pecorino cheese).  We stopped in Sassari, a fairly large (by Sardinian standards) university town, but only stayed long enough to wander around the centro storico for a few minutes.  It began raining as soon as we arrived, and literally everything was closed for the new year…not that it’s unusual for everything to be closed in Italy–if it’s not a holiday, it’s the siesta, or the locals have left on vacation… 


port area of Alghero

After Sassari, it was only a short jaunt over to Alghero, a small and charming town on the west of the island where we spent the first night.  The city is perched above the coast, where wintry winds had whipped the waves into a salty foam.  In the quaint downtown area, Christmas lights and decorations were strung across the cobblestone alleys, and crowds of people emerged around sunset for an evening stroll and window shopping.  We stayed in this neighborhood in an old monastery, which is attached to the still operational church, but has now been fixed up into a hotel.  The cloister, and the former solitary confinement room are now a pleasant breakfast area, where we took our first morning caffe the next day.

cloister breakfast area

cloister in Hotel San Francesco

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Filed under Alghero, Italy

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

The three of us arrived in Milan this morning after a long but uneventful plane ride, and set off almost immediately to beat jet lag by tackling the city on foot.  I was shocked to discover how freezing it was as we walked (not sure why this surprised me, since we flew in over snow-capped mountain peaks), but the weather was bone-chilling, especially because I’ve packed primarily for the more temperate Sardinian climate.  The holiday decorations around town were cheery though, even on this dull and foggy day.  Colored lights adorned many of the trees, and hung over the streets, and twinkled on the ceiling of the Galleria shopping area, where oversized mistletoe hung.  In the fashion district, posh store windows displayed holiday cheer, and little fabic-covered Fiats served as planters for light-covered trees.  Inside the famous and spectacular Duomo were several small nativity scenes, and in front an enormous Christmas tree decorated by Tiffany’s.

holiday cheer

holiday cheer on a foggy day in Milan

Aside from admiring these typical Milan sights–the Duomo, La Scala, the fashion district, Castello Sforzesco–we also happened upon some fun holiday street markets.  Not far from the Duomo were the Mercatini di Natale, where traditional candies, pastries, meats, and cheeses, were sold alongside jewelry, pottery, dolls and cold-weather clothing for unprepared travelers.
merry, merry!

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Filed under Italy, Milan