Little Laos on the Prairie (LLOTP) is a blog dedicated to sharing the "Lao'd" perspective. They talk about anything and everything that has to do with being Lao, including culture, life, news and food.
Although they have been around since 2011, I only recently learned about the blog when one of their writers in Canada, Donna, reached out and asked to do an interview with me. My initial reaction was panic because I am not as confident as you might think but I knew in my heart that if I really want to set out my intentions with A Million Elephants, I had to get out of my comfort zone and embrace being Lao and sharing my vision.
As this was the first interview I ever did and although it was over the phone, I still found myself really nervous. Luckily for me, Donna made it so relaxed and before I knew it I was speaking to her like she was one of my closest friends. Some of the Q&As we discussed were:
So tell me about your family. How did you get to Canada?
I feel like my family history is the same as a lot of refugee families. My dad is Lao. He is the third youngest of 12 siblings, who were sponsored by different churches and groups. They came at different times; I have a lot of family in California. My dad started in Vancouver, and came to Ontario as he got older. Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of contact with his family. But we’re getting in contact more and learning more.
What was it like growing up in Canada?
My parents have been separated since I can remember. My mom, who is French and English, is actually remarried to a Lao guy. My sister and I grew up eating sticky rice every day. He comes from a huge family who lives here. We were always surrounded by our Lao side. We had so many Lao friends. We’d go to the temple for Lao New Year.
Have you ever been to Laos?
I’ve been twice, both times last year in 2017. My first trip was in January. I went solo, for 2 weeks. I’m separated, and figured I should just start embracing it. So I booked a trip, even though everyone told me I shouldn’t. I only packed a backpack. And it was so nice. I have an uncle who I’ve only met a couple of times when he was randomly visiting California. I got a chance to get to know him and meet some of my cousins for the first time. My family took me all over Luang Prabang.
That was when I got the idea to start A Million Elephants.
If you want to read more of the Q&As and really get to know how and why I started this journey, check out the full Part One of our Two Part Series here.
Special Thanks to LLOTP for the opportunity to share my story.