Tag Archives: HIYOW

A thank you to all those who made the “Help In Your Own Way” Giveaway a trememdous success!

Village Science's New Microscope Receives a Blessing During A Lao "Baci" Ceremony.

Before any momentous occasion in Laos, there is usually a traditional ceremony called “Baci” — and the day before I left Luang Prabang, some Lao students invited me to a Baci in order to bless their new microscope (and to wish me a safe journey home).

According to Lao custom, a Baci gathers and reintegrates the many vital forces which make up your soul. During the ceremony, a village elder chants to call those vital forces (called kwan) back to you. One after another, small white strings are tied around your wrist by everyone in the room. Each serves as a reminder that you are part of a greater community — but it’s also a person-to-person wish for your good luck and happiness.1

And when it’s over, you share a feast! If you’re looking for a singular experience that represents the unique, beating heart of Lao culture — in all of its warmth, graciousness, and love of good food — it’s probably this one.

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  1. By the end of the ceremony, the dozens of strings around each wrist make it look like you’re wearing white terry-cloth wristbands from the 1970’s or, in my case due to prodigious arm hair, like a golden retriever is being held hostage. []

It’s been a week since the Japanese earthquake and tsunami and, while that situation continues to develop, it’s time to press ahead and conclude the “Help In Your Own Giveaway” — with one final prize added to the list.

The Ultimate Tech Guide For TravelersIt’s been a week since the Japanese earthquake and tsunami and, although that situation continues to develop, it’s time to press ahead and conclude the “Help In Your Own Way” Giveaway — with one final prize added to the list.


If you are a frequent traveler and love technology, you’re probably already familiar with ANIL POLAT. Anil, who studied anthropology and worked as professional computer security consultant, has joined these interests in his latest venture — traveling full-time while publishing his travel blogs, most notably the tech/travel site foXnoMad.

Taking his work at foXnoMad further, he recently published an eBook called The Ultimate Tech Guide For Travelers. Available directly from his website or from Amazon for your Kindle, “The Ultimate Tech Guide For Travelers” is a compendium of Anil’s experiences and tips for living as a “digital nomad”.

However, the book is only part of the story: For a full 6 months after purchasing his eBook, Anil provides one-on-one technical support for anything you read about inside! For the $37 price tag, that is both remarkable and pretty much an unbeatable deal for tech support!1

When I told Anil about the “Help In Your Own Way” Giveaway, he did just that — and very generously donated a few copies of the book (not to mention his time supporting it) to the prize pool!

Helping In Your Own Way

Take a few moments to read about what The Language Project and Village Science are doing… I bet that there’s something you can offer that will help! Maybe you could:


Have your own ideas? Just click here to reach out and share them!

Be sure to follow the Veritrope.com Twitter Feed for more announcements!

  1. Not to mention that it takes the idea of an author standing behind his work to a whole other level!!! []
Do you have a tip you would like to share? Click this link!

A note about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

About 1 P.M. yesterday here in Laos, I was putting the finishing touches on an article when the first reports of the devastating Japanese earthquake and tsunami arrived. I watched the live footage of the debris-filled waters sweeping through Sendai with a strange sort of disbelief — sometimes you have no doubt about how real a thing is and, at the same time, you can’t believe what your eyes are seeing.

While events continue to develop in Japan, I think it’s best to wait a few days before continuing the content for the “Help In Your Own Way” Giveaway. We’ll try to pick things up on Monday or Tuesday and I’m extending the deadline until Friday, 18 March.

Many of my friends, their families, and Veritrope readers are Japanese — and it’s difficult for me to think about anything else but them now. I imagine many of you feel the same. My thoughts and best wishes are with them at this very difficult moment.