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

My Month of Learning

It’s over. Graduation night has come and gone, as have our lovely students. By now, they are sitting down to bowls of mohinga and pho, padek and prahok. I miss them. But really, it’s just the beginning of what I hope to be life-long friendships. We spent a lot of time together—a LOT of time…Continue readingMy Month of Learning

I See the Light

Yes, I really am here. I apologize for such long pauses between posts, but I have 15 poignant reasons: my students. We’re just wrapping up an intense month of reporting on Asia’s booming population of people over 65, and the myriad problems they face. I’ll tell you more about it next week, after graduation. But…Continue readingI See the Light

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