20 Years of Democracy in Cambodia

1998. A man hangs an English-language banner from poles at the Democracy Square protest in Phnom Penh. Thousands of people gathered in front of the National Assembly Building for weeks to protest the outcome of the 1998 national election. The banners were for international observers and news crews, as most Cambodians could not read English.…Continue reading20 Years of Democracy in Cambodia

On Boston and the Eternal Tragedy of Bombs

SCARS OF BOMBARDMENT: an aerial view of the countryside around Phonsavanh, Laos, showing the ubiquitous bomb craters that remain throughout the province, 40 years after US bombs fell across the country. This week, our nation grieves for lives lost, bodies broken, futures ripped to bits. We mourn the blood splattered on sidewalks of innocents. It…Continue readingOn Boston and the Eternal Tragedy of Bombs

The Cambodian Worker’s Diet

Srey Pot Mom and Ben Sarith eat a dinner of steamed rice and beef soup with gourd. The slat table on which they sit serves as dining table, kitchen counter, living room sofa, and bed. Their room, like all of their neighbors’, is just big enough for a person to squeeze between that slat bed…Continue readingThe Cambodian Worker’s Diet

Travels in Video

Come, join us in our travels across Asia. Now you can hear the sounds and see the sights in motion. After long hours (hat tip to Jerry) and a fair bit of back-and-forth, we’re introducing the book trailer to This Way More Better. See it here. What a learning curve! We’re still new to this,…Continue readingTravels in Video

The Next Big Things in Books

I’ve been tagged! Jennifer Margulis, author of the forthcoming book The Business of Baby, invited me to participate in a blog meme highlighting authors and their new and forthcoming work. I don’t do a lot of memes—but I’m delighted to take part in this one. I have to break the rules a bit, though. (More…Continue readingThe Next Big Things in Books

One Day Along the Coast

We drove west as far as we could, then turned south to Carmel. We parked the car, braced for the wind, and set our feet into the warm, white sand. I took pictures of patterns on the beach, lines and space, shadows and light. I joked about the photos being art. But when I look…Continue readingOne Day Along the Coast

Waiting for Baby

It’s early, just as the sun begins to creep across the neighbor’s field and in through our bedroom window. We get the call. It’s time. At least we think it’s time. We thought it was time last night, when we drove north then east to care for a 3-year-old niece while her Mommy and Daddy…Continue readingWaiting for Baby

Dining with Dioxin

A fried fish served at a restaurant in Sepon, Laos, near the old Ho Chi Minh Trail, in a region that was sprayed with herbicides during war. In the past seven years of research on unexploded ordnance (UXO) in Laos, we’ve often wondered about the safety of foods we’ve eaten and encountered along the way—the…Continue readingDining with Dioxin

Funkytown

Would you like guacamole with your dim sum? Tortillas with your hotdogs? Apparently, this place has it all. We laughed when we spotted the shop while waiting for a red light. But it shouldn’t surprise us—everywhere we look in Albuquerque, we find funky things. We find little shops (like the Dhaka Bazaar) and eateries (like…Continue readingFunkytown

Why, Sometimes, I Eat Bacon Truffle Fries…

…with blue cheese. It was just a little bump, just a little buckle in the flooring near the washing machine. That’s how it started. Jerry figured he better check it out, so he pried open the crawl space door and snaked his way into the deep, dark cavern beneath our house. And there was mud.…Continue readingWhy, Sometimes, I Eat Bacon Truffle Fries…