The Garlic Difference

Garlic vendor, Kengtung market, Shan State Do you see these garlic bunches? This isn’t the garlic typically found in American markets. You know what I’m talking about—big, fat Chinese garlic, often sold in little net bags, five heads for a dollar (at least that was the going rate in New Mexico when we left). Cheap.…Continue readingThe Garlic Difference

Menu for Hope V

It’s a striking land, Shan State. Just across the northern border of Thailand lies a different world; a landscape steeped in beauty, a people with histories worth reading. And tea. Fine, sweet, glorious green tea. When my Burmese students took me to dinner last month and I asked the origin of the tea on our…Continue readingMenu for Hope V

Farmer in the Mist

Near Kengtung, Shan State, Myanmar, December 2008 The Shan State valleys are shrouded in mist on winter mornings. We spotted this farmer while riding a motorbike to an early-morning roving hilltribe market near Kengtung this week. The first signs of second-season rice appear in vibrant green patches across the landscape. Shan State markets teem with…Continue readingFarmer in the Mist

Ice Cream Devils

Just returned to Chiang Mai after a week exploring the hills around Kengtung, in the Shan State of Myanmar. Fascinating people, food and markets, quite different from those in Thailand (even though the Thais and Shans share the same ethnic heritage). I promise, more on that later. But first: remember my iberry infatuation? I’m psyched…Continue readingIce Cream Devils

Burma’s Hunger Pangs

Farming in the Shan State I’m slicing potatoes and plucking rosemary and thinking about a death toll of possibly 100,000 in Burma’s cyclone. I’m 8,500 miles away in New Mexico, and I don’t know what to say—except to say what I feel, from the gut. That’s where these things hit hardest; these storms, be they…Continue readingBurma’s Hunger Pangs

A Day Alone at Doi Angkhang

Something I’ve been holding onto for a long time… (Jerry wasn’t on this trip, so photos are courtesy of my unprofessional eye.) Sunset at Doi Angkhang I’m in the far northern hills of Thailand, near the border with Burma’s Shan State. This land goes up and down, in steep terrain that villagers climb by foot…Continue readingA Day Alone at Doi Angkhang

More on Burma

A 90-year-old monk warms his hands by the fire. Shan State, Burma, in slightly calmer times. Many of you have been asking if I have further news. Last night at the FCCT, photojournalist Thierry Falise, a member of Jerry’s agency, gave a slideshow of his work in Burma during the past few weeks. Thierry witnessed…Continue readingMore on Burma

Breakfast in Burma

A woman in the Shan State of Burma coaxes her cooking fire Last week, one of the Burmese journalists in the IMMF class gave me a package of mohinga. What a gift! Mohinga is a national dish of Burma, frequently eaten for breakfast. It’s a rich fish-based broth with rice noodles, turmeric, ginger, onion, chili,…Continue readingBreakfast in Burma