Happy Easter, all! And Happy New Year! Sok s’bay ch’hnam thmei, sabaidee pi mai Lao, sabai pi mai. I feel so very far from the festivities this year as we make our way through upstate New York and back. I must confess, while many Americans are fixating on a good ham, colored eggs and chocolate bunnies, I’m thinking of the Easter we had last year in Pakse, Laos. A simple and small Catholic Church is found in this predominantly Buddhist town, and we happened to be around for the holiday Mass (plus a candlelight service the night before). Hard pews and long sermons, but friendly and devoted folk.
Confession #2: I did not note what we ate on Easter last year, but I’m quite certain it started with strong coffee and duck noodle soup (that much I recall vividly), and ended with a spicy dinner (jaew? sticky rice? grilled chicken? papaya salad? maybe Indian?) washed down with Beerlao. In any case, may your ham be juicy and your rice plentiful on all the Easters to come.