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Today Show - "Where in the World is Matt Lauer?"
Matt Lauer pops up in Laos and shares with the world the people and culture of this exotic gem of Southeast Asia. Laos is becoming one of the number one tourist destinations and very well known for eco-tourism among it's travelers. Check out the following link and videos to find out more about this featured story. http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/24371053/
I’m Laotian. What Ocean?
It is frustrating at times when people ask you what your nationality is because many of them are not satisfied with your response of, “I’m Laotian”. You instantly become the ambassador for Laos and continue to educate inquirers where Laos is geographically and maybe add in some neighboring countries like Vietnam or Thailand which they are familiar with. Now we know why Kahn Souphanousinphone (King of the Hill) gets so annoyed whenever Hank and the rest of the gang ask him where he was from. Kahn constantly has to explain to them that he was Laotian and that he was neither Chinese nor Japanese. Perhaps Kahn would not have to explain himself so much and get so irritated if the King of the Hill boys were familiar with the secret war that was waged over in Laos. Laos became the most heavily bombed country in world history. There were more bombs dropped there than from World War I and II combined. But nonetheless, our people have always remained strong and proud of our heritage and who we are. Laos is still an impoverished country and decades behind the rest of the world. Over the years, it has gone through some changes and made great strides to open up and share its’ beauty with everyone. According to a New York Times article, Laos was chosen as the number one hot spot to travel to in 2008. That is impressive and great publicity for our people, considering Laos is still a developing country and there are many improvements still to be done. But, what I would like to focus on is Laos as a people, specifically the refugees who sought asylum in other countries because of the war in Vietnam. About ten percent of the population of Laos fled the country as a result of political persecution and relocated to host countries such as the United States, Australia, France, and Canada. These countries that Laotians settled in happen to be first world nations. They are developed countries with high standards of living, top of the line education, healthcare, stable governments, etc. In a way, something positive did come out of a bad situation. Believe me, no one wants to leave their own country, their friends, families, and identity, for somewhere else, but their choices were non-existent. Laotian refugees have gone through an incredible journey, from fleeing with just the clothes on their backs and resettling in other countries, learning a new language and culture. They have overcome many adversities while trying to assimilate into their new country. Through hard work and determination, Laotians today are as competitive as or even more advanced than their American, French, Australian, and Canadian counterparts. These young Laotians are graduating from the top universities in the world and becoming highly sought after professionals in the field of sports, entertainment, law, medicine, etc. They are making great contributions to society and progress for our people. Now that is something to be proud of. So no matter how many times we have to explain ourselves to others about who we are and where we came from, it will all be worthwhile in the end. As long as we stay true to our roots, and support one another, than we have nothing to worry about. Laotians are on the rise and making a great impact in the world today.
Sabai- Dee, Laotian restaurant in Chicago, was recently featured on ABC7 News, Chicago. Way to go! Finally, Lao food is making headlines and getting some recognition. It was a very interesting piece that talked about some of the popular dishes from Laos, such as Papaya Salad (Tum Mak Houng), Kow Poon, Sausage, and Nam. Makes you hungry just thinking about it. Again, congratulations Sabai- Dee Restaurant and I'll be sure to stop by when I'm down there. Read more about this featured story: http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=resources/lifestyle_community/food/restaurants&id=5894799
1. Gambling is in your blood. At a very, very young age, you and your friends gambled for anything such as candy, marbles, toys, money, valentines cards, baseball cards, basically everything was a wager. You were skilled in all the card games Gay, Thuck Tay.
2. When you stepped off the plane as a refugee, you received a warm eskimo style jacket. That was nice!
3. Your parents lowered your age when you arrived in the U.S. so you can still be eligible to get an education. You were probably the only six grader that had to shave because puberty struck early.
4. You grew up living in a refugee community of over 50 Lao families because that is where the government relocated you. The community provided support and guidance especially for your parents who were facing language and cultural barriers. Everything was still a shock to them. The community you grew up in was in the poor section of town, the ghetto. As a young Lao kid, you had to grow up real fast.
5. As a kid, you and your friends, a group of twenty or more, walked for miles around town, (always packing some Jael), exploring and marking where all the fruit trees were located at so you can come back when the season is right again.
6. You have a very long last name, usually ending with phanh, souk, vong, sack, vanh, kham, thong, etc. Your Lao nickname is usually one syllable, short and simple to remember.
7. You had to do alot of translating and interpreting for your parents. In elementary school, you were the translator during your parent - teacher conferences.
Please feel free to add to my list...
A good friend of mine was nice enough to share this motivational message with me. I like to pass it on to you and hope this helps motivate and inspire you as well.
"We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, have a baby, then another. Then we are frustrated that the kids aren't old enough and we'll be more content when they are. After that we're frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with. We will certainly be happy when they are out of that stage. We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse gets his or her act together, when we get a nicer car, are able to go on a nice vacation, when we retire. The truth is, there's no better time to be happy then right now, if not now, when?
Your life will always be filled with challenges. It's best to admit this to yourself decide to be happy anyway. One of my favorite quotes comes from Alfred D. Souza. He said, "For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, and a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life." This perspective has helped me to see that there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. So, treasure every moment that you have, and treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time...and remember that time waits for no one...
So stop waiting until you finish school, until you go back to school, until you lose ten pounds, until you gain ten pounds, until you have kids, until your kids leave the house, until you start work, until you retire, until you get married, until you get divorced, until Friday night, until Saturdy morning, until you get a new car or home, until you are off welfare, until the first or fifteenth, unitl your son comes on, until you've had a drink, until you've sobered up, until you die, until you are born again to decide that there is no better time than right now to be happy...Happiness is a journey, not a destination.
Thought For The Day:
Work like you don't need money,
Love like you've never been hurt,
And dance like no one's watching."
1. Enjoy Life Today. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come.
2. Live in the moment. Don't live in the past, unless you like guilt. Don't live in the future, unless you like fear. Live in the present.
3. Quitters never win and winners never quit.
4. Keep trying no matter how hard it gets, it will get easier.
5. Avoid negative people, sources, places, things and habits.
6. Ignore those who try to discourage you.
7. Don't give up and don't give in.
8. Believe in yourself.
9. Your greatest asset is your earning ability. Your greatest resource is your time. (Brian Tracy)
10. "Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others."
11. "The poor and middle class work hard for their money. The rich have money work hard for them." (Robert Kiyosaki)
Movie Review- National Treasure Book of Secret
National Treasure, Book of Secrets, starring Nicolas Cage, was very good and entertaining. I didn't think they could top the first one, National Treasure, but they proved me wrong. The plot and story line was very interesting. There was also alot of action and adventure throughout which I expected from Nicolas Cage. This was a good family movie and well worth the money. Go see it when you get a chance.
I Am Legend
I recently went to see the movie, I Am Legend. Sorry, but this movie turned out to be a dud. I had high hopes for it, especially with Will Smith starring in it. I expected alot of action and comedy in the movie, instead it was slow and boring. It was one of those movies that you felt like leaving half-way through it, but stayed a little bit longer hoping that there will be something exciting coming up that was going to turn the movie around. This movie was based on a novel and I think was also a remake of an oldies movie, but come on, they could have made it more entertaining. The only thing good was that it gave us an idea of what the situation would be like if something like this took place, a virus that wiped out mankind. If you haven't seen the movie yet, then save your money and wait for it to be shown on regular TV.
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