December 2, 2015

Is a Staycation a Real Vacation?

Photo courtesy of Mike Licht via Flickr.

“This is a perfect place for a staycation,” Max said as he looked around the room my husband and I had just checked into at the Centara Grand Hotel at the Central World Plaza downtown Bangkok.

As the bellboy brought in the posters, banners, books and suitcases, the five of us stood at the window transfixed by the Bangkok skyline. The view was spectacular, even to Max and Dusanee who have lived here for years. Justin, my husband’s son visiting from Seoul, commented on the marked differences between these two Asian mega-metropolises. We stood inside, separated from the dripping humidity, congestion of noise and swarms of people only by a single glass window. That window made all the difference to our comfort and our perspective. Read More »


November 9, 2015

“Scars of a lost childhood” – The Nation features The Boy with a Bamboo Heart

DR AMPORN WATHANAVONGS is no stranger to the Thai media. The head of Fordec, the Foundation for Rehabilitation and Development of Children and Family, he has been extensively profiled by Thai-language newspapers, magazines and TV shows. He even has a Thai-language biography.

None of them have mentioned the trauma that Amporn lived through as a 15-year-old soldier fighting alongside Cambodian nationalists against the French in the early 1950s. A shrapnel scar on his hand bears mute testament to the ravages of war.

Now this chapter in Amporn’s life is out in the open, published for all to see in the first English-language biography of his life, “The Boy with A Bamboo Heart”, by Canadian Chantal Jauvin.

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February 25, 2015

How Much is a Person’s Drive Determined by Education?

What makes a person strive, push and reach higher, has always been a mystery to me.  The moment in which a person touches their limit and they know all of a sudden than they can go just a little further. That is sheer human beauty. My throat tightens and my inner voice shouts “YES!”  My reaction is so visceral that it still surprises me.

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