Where to go next? Asia is almost exactly on the other side of the world from California, our home and where all our relatives live. We had thought about what we would do if someone needed us at home, but decided not to start back yet, but rather we would travel to the southern hemisphere.
“Weren’t you ever afraid?” So many people have asked this question about our seventeen years traveling and living outside of the U.S. I always say ‘No’. We did visit a couple of dangerous places like South Africa and Brazil.
Traveling around the world was a lot of fun. But not every experience was. Sometimes a glimpse into another life leaves one feeling sad and helpless. Some of the things we saw were funny, some outrageous, and some shocking. But never boring. And each one opened another little window into another culture.
Asia. The land of pagodas, jade Buddhas, and stir fried foods. What we knew about Asia we could put in a pot sticker at the local Chinese restaurant. We had done Central America and Europe and it was time to move on. Going east seemed the logical next place.
During our travels we got to ride, bath, feed and photograph lots of elephants. The one place where we saw hundred’s of elephants all at one time, all in a showground built for them was in Thailand.
I knew before I hit the ground I had been struck by a farang. I could smell the meat in his pores in that split second of contact, as his shoulder sent me reeling halfway across the street. Steak-loving American soldiers have become easy prey in the Vietnamese jungle where they are fighting the war and their odor is just as recognizable here in Bangkok.
“My God. What was that?” I yelled as someone turned a hose on me and my husband and soaked us with water.
With every cup of coffee, there is a story. There is the story of the people and situations in which the coffee beans were planted, cultivated, sold, shipped (usually thousands of miles away), roasted, and eventually bought, brewed, and placed in the hands of the coffee drinker. When it comes to Lanna Cafe coffee, that story is one of a transformative partnership that spans an ocean, including tribal villages in Thailand, and Fresno’s Brian Acosta and Kyle Kennington.