Join our experience as we travel in SE Asia

3/12 Day 1 – Somewhere over the Pacific

Below: Liz in Manila, Mark getting greeted on arrival




We have started our next adventure to SE Asia where we will be meeting and working with numerous groups of people to assist them to produce on-trend high-quality jewelry, scarves, purses, and home décor items that we can then sell to boutiques, bookstores, gift shops, museum stores, zoos, church bookstores, and individuals as well as support fundraising activities by woman’s groups, World Vision, and others. We pay the artisans up front and provide a hands up out of poverty as a way of loving them – not a hand out.

After an uneventful departure from LAX, a delicious meal, and a four hour nap, I was offered a light meal of rice porridge. Being from New Orleans, I enjoy many spices, flavors, aromas, and textures. This was different – somewhat pungent – moldy smelling. Nicely presented along with some sort of green bean looking side dish. I stirred the fried garlic, spring onions, and salted egg into the thick rice soup and then had a moment.

In that split second, I recognized that I was initially skeptical about this new dish. Was the aroma really offensive or was it just unfamiliar?  I could feel my mind trying to match up this new experience with my past experiences and gave this new unfamiliar food a yellow flag. How silly is that? Here I am on another grand adventure and with my first new experience, I throw up a yellow flag. So I consciously stopped the match making process and said, ‘this is a new experience – be open to possibility of something great’. The texture was creamy with surprising burst of flavors. This Arroz Caldo is delicious. The greens were Chinese pickled slices of cucumber with sesame seeds.


I make a special effort to be fully present in the moments throughout my day. Time flies by when we are not watching so I watch and savor and connect to whatever is near me. Even so, I wonder how many flags have I thrown up because something was not familiar. I have decided to take a moment and observe what I am thinking as I come across new experiences. Open to the possibilities, to experience life for what it is – not for how it relates to my previous experiences.

Met with our first artisan group who does amazing work with the shimmery part of a seashell – they call the material ”Capiz” . We discussed with them several design concepts that would make their products appealing to a more customers. Several design concepts would be particularly interesting to Zoo and other places that would like product branding.

Knowing that this is only the first part of what is going to be a wonderful 6 week trip motivates us to think of all the wonderful things we are going to accomplish. We are meeting new Artisans that we can help change their lives and we are going to experience so many new things that will change our lives.


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