Hello everyone. I just want you to know that I’ve moved to a new blog at: www.samanthaphotographyblog.com. I look forward to seeing you there.

Sincerely,

Samantha

you’ve not been forsaken.

At times like this, we all want to help, but how and to which organization? Here’s a link to share with everyone. The biggest NGO is not necessarily the most efficient.
www.charitynavigator.org

Doctors Without Borders
Medecins sans Frontieres

www.cmiprojectpapillon.org

At times like this it’s easy to forget those less fortunate than us.  As Christmas draws nearer, the song, “Do they know it’s Christmas,” comes to my mind.  It reminded me of my Christmas at the orphanage of Project Papillon in Haiti in December of 2008.  If you are interested and would like to help out please visit the following web pages:

AYUI (safe house for at-risk hill tribe children in Thailand)

Los Quinchos (landfill in Nicaragua)

CMI Project Papillon (orphanage in Haiti)

As a founder of LOVE, I have worked with these amazing organizations. The joy and life that they bring to the children is  priceless.

Los Quinchos provides more than just a meal for the children of the landfill of La Chureca, they also give love and attention to the children too.

an 8 year old boy who wants to be a garbage pick up truck driver when he grows up because that's the only thing he knows in life: picking garbage for food and recyclables and driving the truck.

I got to give it to the Thais for being creative when it comes to food.  While walking through Chiang Rai’s walking street, I am just amazed at all the different types of food I saw them selling along the street.  There is always a new twist to everything.  Here are some of the stuff I saw them selling.

chicken satay

chicken satay

Fried cricket with green onions.  I actually ate this...it's pretty tastey:)

Fried cricket with green onions. I actually ate this...it's pretty tastey:)

Tod yum pla muk...deep fried catfish salad with mango, peanuts and sweet/sour sauce...I can't wait to try this recipe at home!

yum pla duk foo...(thanks to Pi Khantipol for the correction...)deep fried catfish salad with mango, peanuts and sweet/sour sauce...I can't wait to try this recipe at home!

Squid and hotdog on sticks...the sauce is a sweet/sour sauce...eventually these will be grilled...I had the grilled squid, just not the hotdog for obvious reasons.

Squid and hotdog on sticks...the sauce is a sweet/sour sauce...eventually these will be grilled...I had the grilled squid, just not the hotdog for obvious reasons.

fried quail eggs...

fried quail eggs...

seafood fritter...they use this pot for alot of snacks...

seafood fritter...they use this pot for alot of snacks...

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to blog about my daily routine when I travel, but because my friends and family gets worried, I thought I should have another blog about my life abroad besides the www.somphonh.squarespace. com blog.

After being here for two  weeks, I finally have a daily routine.  I am one of those that craves routine because I am a creature of habit afterall.  My day in Thailand starts out with me waking up with the roosters around 4:00/ 5:00 a.m. if it’s a hot morning or 7:00/8:00 a.m. if it was a hot morning the day before and I needed sleep.   I would go to the noodle stall by the market that’s about a 5-10 minute walk from Tipp Inn Hotel (the place I’m staying at) and have a bowl of Chiang Rai noodle.  My favorite is noodle with nam nieuw.  It tastes just like my mom’s noodles, but a bit different in that they garnish it with pickled mustard leaf.  After that I’d walk back and start my day my working on my computer.  The internet service here is really slow so everything takes three times as long to load up than in the U.S.  In the afternoon, if I’m really hungy then I would walk to the market or sometimes the young man that works at the hotel will drive me there with his motor bike and I’d pick up something from the market for lunch.  If Sue, AYUI’s director and I made plans in the afternoon, then we’d meet up with her other teacher friends for lunch or coffee.  Then back to work until 4:00 and I start walking to AYUI Youth Hostel to start my photography workshop with the kids.  After the workshop, I normally have dinner with the kids unless, Sue and I made plans to go out elsewhere.  At the end of the night a group of girls would volunteer to wak me back  to my hotel. It’s always so fun to walk with them because they are so sweet and so funny.

Anyhow, many of my friends know how much I love food so I’m going to start blogging about the amazing food that I’ve been tasting through my travels:)  Food is so dirt cheap in Thailand and if you’re in Bangkok, you can get food 24/7!  I spend 15 baht on my soup and it’s 34 baht for $1.00 u.s.d.  Bon appetit!

Here's noodle with nam nieuw topped with fried pork rinds, bean sprouts and green onions.

Here's noodle with nam nieuw topped with fried pork rinds, bean sprouts and green onions.

pickled mustard leaf to garnish my noodle soup with.

pickled mustard leaf to garnish my noodle soup with.

here's the pot where my soup comes from.  There's mainly chopped pork, cherry tomatoes, chili peppers, garlic and this blossom call "dok nieuw" in it.

here's the pot where my soup comes from. There's mainly chopped pork, cherry tomatoes, chili peppers, garlic and this blossom call "dok nieuw" in it.

sticky rice with steamed veggies (chinese brocoli in this case) and grilled catfish chili paste.  It's tastey!  I feel like I'm eating my sister Pat and other brother-in-law's cooking!

sticky rice with steamed veggies (chinese brocoli in this case) and grilled catfish chili paste. It's tastey! I feel like I'm eating my sister Pat and other brother-in-law's cooking!I love how they wrap them up in banana leaves...I'm conscientious of the things like that:) I got this from the market for lunch the other day.

I saw this little darling at San Simian, an eco lodge at the Laguna de Apoyo.  Her head full of blonde curls and her big, blue eyes did me in.  When I can make it, in this case I could with an invitation by my friend Tim and Andres,  I love going to the lake for a swim.  The water is thermal and you can see pockets of hot spring coming up to the surface.  On a nice day, you can see twenty feet below and see fishes swimming about.

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one of the cabanas at Sans Simian.  I stayed at this one a couple of years ago.  I love the outdoor shower stall.

one of the cabanas at Sans Simian. I stayed at this one a couple of years ago. I love the outdoor shower stall.

a view of the lake.

a view of the lake.

but certain dreams will just have to wait…

friday

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