Tuesday, December 29, 2009

That's My World!

Even in paradise, you have to clean and do laundry. I washed the slippers I offer for guests visiting my house since it's tradition to take your shoes off at the front door. It's been cool up north so it's been taking them a while to dry so I hung them on the metalwork of the window.

When I entered the room, I thought, "The shoes are dancing without me!" So here they are in flight:

hanging slippers

This is my contribution to That's My World! where everyone plays tour guide for their part of the world.

Monday, December 28, 2009

2010 TBR List

This is my third year on trying to respond to the TBR Challenge and get through my impressive to be read list. Although I read nearly 100 books this year (still have to count them up), somehow I seemed to avoid my TBR list. I have read a few but not all. Part of the problem is that books are physically in one location and because I travel so much, I'm often in a reading mood and the book is elsewhere; or I bring the book to another one of my work sites and leave it there and forget where I left it. One of my New Year's resolutions is both to read the books on this list and also to not move them so I know where they are.

So my primary list:
1. Development as Freedom by Amartya Sen - Xieng Khouang
2. A War of Nerves by Ben Shephard - Vientiane
3. Black Lamb and Grey Falcon by Rebecca West - Xieng Khouang
4. What I talk about when I talk about Running by Haruki Murakami - Vientiane
5. number9dream by Daid Mitchell - Vientiane
6. Wandering through Vietnamese Culture by Huu Ngoc - Xieng Khouang
7. In an Antique Land by Amitav Ghosh - Xieng Khouang
8. Alentejo Blue by Monica Ali - Vientiane
9. The Ancestor's Tale by Richard Dawkins - Xieng Khouang
10. The Care of Strangers by Charles E. Rosenberg - Vientiane
11. The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood - Vientiane
12. Against the Day by Thomas Pynchon - Audiobook, anywhere

Alternative list:
1. Banker to the Poor by Muhammad Yunus - Audiobook
2. Hard Times by Charles Dickens - Audiobook
3. Bleak House by Charles Dickens - Vientiane
4. Herzog by Saul Bellow - Audiobook
5. Specimen Days by Michael Cunningham - Audiobook
6. The World without Us by Alan Weisman - Audiobook
7. 2666: A Novel by Roberto Bolano - Vientiane
8. Physics of the Impossible by Michio Kaku - Audiobook
9. Brasyl by Ian MacDonald - Vientiane
10. A Grand Delusion by Robert Mann - Vientiane
11. BuddhaDa by Anne Donovan - Xieng Khouang
12. Mara and Dann by Doris Lessing - Vientiane

And if I get around to them:
1. The Execution Channel b Ken MacLeod
2. Shriek: an Afterword by Jeff Vandermeer
3. Slan by A.E. Van Vogt
4. Dreams Underfoot by Charles de Lint
5. The Redundancy of Courage by Timothy Mo
6. The Tapestries by Kien Nguyen
7. On the Natural History of Destruction by W. G. Sebald
8. Gould's Book of Fish by Richard Flanagan
9. White Noise by Don DeLillo
10. The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene
11. The Street of a Thousand Blossoms by Gail Tsukiyama
12. I am a Cat by Soseki Natsume

Well, we'll see how it goes this year.

And here are the physical candidates, on the bookshelf next to my bed in Xieng Khouang:

TBR pile

Friday, December 25, 2009

SWF - Christmas edition


OK, so I've been quiet for a while, but I have time to go over my images from the past month or two in the little bit of quiet time available between Christmas and New Year.

On Christmas Day, we supported a training in Animal Raising/ Village-level Veterinary skills for people injured by unexploded ordnance or family members (such as parents if the UXO survivor is a child). We usually have twenty people in the training but make appointments with twenty-five people, just in case there are 'no shows.' This month, everyone attended, including four people from another province which requires more than a day's travel.

After two days of theory, we have practice sessions in one village, vaccinating chickens in the evening when they have come home to roost, like so:

chickens roosting 2

We were trying to find the chickens in their coop but their owner told us to look up!

On Christmas morning, we vaccinated more animals in their mangers.

away in a manger

The buffalo in the foreground has a newborn white calf. The buffalo in the background was just starting to go into labor. We weren't in that section of the village long enough to see the baby. Water buffalo calfs are really cute, not like the full-sized version.

This cow is wondering whether it's safe to leave.

cow leaving pen

And I took photos while everyone else was working. I experimented with some HDR after we returned to Phonsavanh. The blue sky over a bamboo trellis and fish traps.

mares tails

And over a cow pen:

sky and roofsm

When I told a friend we'd be vaccinating animals in the manger, she asked if that included camels and donkeys. I told her, "of course. Donkeys are the animals with short horns on their heads, get into everything and go 'baaaa,' right? And camels are the slow moving animals with big sweeping horns which are used for plowing." She had to agree with me.

And in case anyone gets the wrong impression that it is always sunny here - the mornings are often very foggy.

cows taoi morning

I didn't even realize that the cows were under the tree in the middle of Ta-Oi town until I nearly stumbled over one.

This is my contribution to Skywatch Friday, whose members post pictures of the skies around the world. Huh, I guess this is the last one of the year! Season's Greetings everyone!