I’ve been in Vientiane, Laos, for six weeks now, having temporarily hopped-off my wonderful Stray Tour of four countries of South East Asia: Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. I hadn’t planned to stay as long as this, here in the capital city of Laos, but I discovered the shocking fact of America’s Secret War during the neighboring Vietnam War and I wanted to gather the facts. I also needed the rest. I solve my desire for a homebase, by frequently becoming a longer-term tourist of any delightful spots along my way. Reading, writing, and resting can only be done when one lingers a little while. Otherwise, lack of desk space, wi-fi, handy electrical plugs, and non-stop hostel social activity, make serious computer work difficult, if not impossible. I try to catch up on blogging at times like these, even though other unexpected assignments tend to find me, too. New trips both simplify and complicate all that.
Plus, my eyes are sooooo tired right now. Probably, because I really need that eye surgery but the catarract isn’t quite ripe yet. A new pair of glasses wouldn’t hurt, either but those will have to wait till after the surgery. I’ll check all those out in my new country, as well. In the meantime, sleep and rest are on the to-do list. Same as everyone does in the aftermath of such a big holiday.
It’s a brand new year in this part of the world and, as if it’s an omen singing its siren song, I found a large, beautiful, pink, plastic four-wheeler suitcase to replace my old-fashioned, two-wheel cloth ones. So, I’ve cut my luggage down to two check-in bags, plus two carry-ons. Will your whole life fit into so small a space?
All this has started my travel clock ticking. Seven days to go, now!
Then, newly expert and recently beached, I’ll return here to pick up my Stray Tour into Cambodia and Vietnam. The delightful part of their offering is that I have a year to cover the ground. So, impromptu flights are very easy to incorporate into my plans.
Plus, I’d also like to cover my future dream destinations to the north and still have time to get to Lake Baikal, in Siberia, Russia; before the weather turns ….. well, too Siberian! Best be about it! So, I’ll buy my plane ticket for next week and announce my destination later. Hint: there’s a film academy there that I plan to attend.
This week, I’ll try to catch up on my blogging, as the future will be filled with learning the technologies of camera and video work and producing cinema reports of all my wonderful pictures. I’m already halfway around the world and still a rank amateur about the scenes I’m passing through. What good is fine equipment without the know-how? Here are some shots of this week and the New Years celebrations between April 14 – 18. Wet and Loud! Everybody throws water on everybody else. And, the Buddhist Temples broadcast very loud sermons constantly between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. This hotel is surrounded by three temples, so we had triple cacaphony.
This subject was contributed by a brilliant thinker named Brooke, whom I met on my travels throughout Southeast Asia, and thus, fits perfectly on my travel website. However, you will find many more of her existential questions answered by The Holy Spirit on my other website, In Secret Diffusion.com (www.insecretdiffusion.com)
What does it do to the body, mind, and soul to travel to new places?
“Oh My Linda Layli, Layli Linda! We are finding out this answer through your adventures all over this World Below. You are touching the lives of many, many children this way. Adults too, of course! But your effect upon any child that you have loved with your eyes, your smile and your attention to them in a direct and personal way…. even if they don’t understand your language directly…. they still credit your country with good vibrations that will last forever and forever within their attitude about such a forceful place as America is, within the minds and in the spoken words of the adults around them.”
“Every person, man, woman or child, carries their nationality around like a visible flag in the minds and memories of all who meet them, everywhere. In most countries of the world, people don’t travel like Western tourists do. In other years, it was the soldiers in identical uniforms of one side or the other, who scattered the impressions of their countries. Now, it’s the tourists; most of whom are “wealthy” Westerners. Those travelers stay within their groups, quite predictably, and stay briefly at hotels, hostels, and guesthouses. This works very well for both locals and visitors, as tourism helps the local economy develop healthily; while allowing the resident population to continue their preferred routines, language and customs.”
“Tourism never attempts to convert or redesign beliefs as the meddling missionary groups have attempted to do in the past. Nowadays, there are schools, hospitals and educational gifts that those Faiths have brought to the many thousands of global locations which they have unsuccessfully invaded. Their religion has filtered around, but is usually mixed with local traditions. Ever since time began…. basically, ever since We started this tradition of Earth’s Mix & Match Population, and sent Messengers from time to time to answer their needs and prayers uttered by everyone to become the winner over the others; We have seen that this desperate dance simply goes on and on and on and on!”
“So, when the traveling from place to place puts you in contact with a local personality, or even with fellow travelers from many different countries, it gives Peace a chance to flourish! Particularly, if it gets seeded into the bright little mind of a child! Naturally, they will think good things about America all of their life when a friendly and happy American lays the foundation and sparks their positive, emotional reaction. One such incident can erase years and years of aggressive history filling the minds of their parents and grandparents. Even to changing those adult minds in miraculous ways out of parental gratitude to those who take the time to interrelate to their children; since most adults of any country either barely tolerate, or totally ignore, all babies and children of whatever nationality. There’s always a way to bridge any gap of language or age, but most adults never try.”
“So, a seasoned world traveler has had the experience and incentive to develop those necessary people skills!”
The more the merrier!
Every American child starts every school day off with a standing Pledge of Allegiance! Publicly, hand over heart, we look at our beloved American Flag and recite together:
“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all!”
Funny, how you forget the learning curves of your own most basic beliefs in your own country until push comes to shove. What American, born or naturalized, can deny the effect upon themselves, their children, and their neighors? We all swear to the same beliefs. Again and again and again! So that when you are faced with a barricade, you leap right over it, without even thinking!
That’s what we do! Defend Freedom! Including Freedom of Speech! We Defend the Rights of Others! We Insist Upon Justice for ALL! We simply cannot NOT jump on the bandwagon!
I am proud to know that I do, indeed, just jump right in without any thought to my own safety. Just as happened last week in the auto accident I witnessed: http://www.insecretdiffusion.com/site/?p=2692
We can never know, until the opportunity unexpectedly presents itself. Heaven’s own Gong Show, no less! Do we “Have it, or don’t we?” Only one way to find out. Jump down into a life on Earth and wait your turn! Well, they say that opportunity always comes in sets of three! I’d better be watching out for the next one to present itself. And sooner, rather than later!
My personal record: Springtime, 2018:
- Helping at the scene of an auto accident. (Check)
- Responding correctly to news of my own country’s shameful Secret War. (Check)
- Spreading that news to my unsuspecting American countrymen… nay, countrywomen! Whenever and in whatever format presents itself! (We shall see….)
Here’s a shoutout to my very best friend and neighbor in the whole wide world, Fawn Germer! fawngermer.com
To Barack and Michelle Obama! The only sitting U.S. President to have visited Laos and donated 90 million dollars to the Cope Center, to help with lifelong medical care and orthopedic prosthetics for the survivors of the millions of leftover cluster bombs still buried in the Laos soil.
To Martin Luther King Organizations and Civil Rights Believers, everywhere! You know to get these things done! Basic Freedoms of Life, sort of things. Especially, where America’s Footprints have left their unacceptable marks! Speak up for the Rights of Others!
To Oprah and Ellen! And all Talk Show Hosts everywhere! We need to talk! May I pay you a visit?
Let’s get this show on the road, Americans! How will YOU respond in this Crisis of Faith and Love concerning your great country? Please share this post with all your friends and throw in your two cents, too!
Kickstart your own Trilogy here! Tomorrow is the 4th of April! Where will this idea be by the 4th of July? Ninety days away! How long does conception take anyway? From the gleam in the eye to the inescapable new reality? The hard part is what comes later. Like how to start a GoFundMe site? And to keep it constantly filling! We need experts. Yesterday!
90 Days = 90 Million Dollars! How many Bombies will that clean up? How many artificial body parts will that supply? Some, but this whole chapter needs closing! This sad story needs to be put to rest! Not passed on to another generation! Or, left with Little Laos, the victim here, to solve on her own!
SHOW ME WHAT’CHA GOT, AMERICANS!
YOU’VE GOT A BIRTHDAY COMING UP!
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO YOUR OWN KID, IF IT REFUSED TO CLEAN UP ITS ROOM?
LET’S HEAR THAT LOUD AND CLEAR!
Here I am, opening the month of April, in the same Laos hotel that I checked into two-weeks ago. In a vast and overall way, I am part of a greater Stray Tour group, which passes through this Capital City of Vientiane, twice a week. I had planned to only be here overnight and then move on with the group through Southern Laos into Cambodia; then South and North Vietnam. Thank goodness, this is a hop-on, hop-off itinerary, which I can take a whole year to fulfill.
I had not expected to discover a Cause to unravel and devote my loving energies to. Not at this advanced age of eight decades! Were there even any new mysteries to discover? Was there an uncovered fact left that ALL OF US ON THE PLANET didn’t already know? Well, yes….. as it turns out! Before arriving here, I was introduced to the plight of the adorable Black Sun Bears and Moon Bears, which the Chinese exploit for the shameful practice of extracting their bile to make aphrodesiac aids. Well, I donated to their Cause and bought a few tee shirts campaigning to FREE THE BEARS.
I fed loving banana bunches to elephants rescued from exploitive trades, such as logging and people carrying.
Plus, I passed up the once-in-a-lifetime elephant photo op my hostel made available:
But, the event that I hadn’t forseen, snuck up on me when our tour arrived in Vientiane, Laos, and if you have followed this blog at all, you have read all about it in the previous four blog posts. So, I’ll be here until my visa runs out on April 27, in order to learn all I can about the Secret War of Laos. This week, I’ll spend a few interesting days at the heavily-bombed archeological treasure, The Plain of Jars, a little north of here, and I hope to take lots of pictures for my next blog posting about this beautiful little country I’m discovering. The Laotians are such beautiful people, too.