Welcome. Perhaps you stumbled onto this blog because you were reading my first novel, my hands came away red, and came to look me up. Or perhaps you’re a friend who decided to check out what country I was in now. Or perhaps you googled “daaaate in asia.com” or “giant snake in Laos” or “men doing toilet on roads” – I choose to interpret the fact that these are all search terms that have led people to my blog to mean that, as a blogger, I have range. This may not be the only valid interpretation.

If you’re brand new, however, perhaps you’d like a bit of orientation. I’m an Australian psychologist who specializes in stress, trauma, resilience and self-care for humanitarian workers. I write for fun, and because I must or life gets less fun and so do I. My husband, Mike, and I moved to Laos in mid 2010. Mike’s working for a development organization here and I’m consulting, writing, and enjoying the local fruit shakes and $5 massages at the Lao Red Cross. Life is good.

If you’d like more of the backstory, below are some links to posts that will help bring you up to speed on topics ranging from our story to thoughts on humanitarian work in Laos.

Thanks for dropping by!



  1. Shock and Awe in Love
  2. Love Long Distance
  3. Banishing Love’s Twin
  4. Dark Shadows in Marital Mirrors
  5. This year I would really like you to work on
  6. Two Years Ago Today
  7. Koi Maan Luuk: Or, I Am Pregnant
  8. Finding Out You Are Pregnant, In Slow Motion
  9. Birthday Presents and Love Languages
  10. Life Lessons on Pregnancy and Breastfeeding from Cows
  11. It’s a…
  12. Ten Good Things About Boys: Attaining Synthetic Happiness One Gender Stereotype at a Time

Humanitarian work

  1. What Price a Child’s Life?
  2. Jesus Wants You To Build A Toilet
  3. When Helping is Hard (Part 1): That sort of decision
  4. When Helping is Hard (Part 2): In the village
  5. When Helping is Hard (Part 3): Score one for policy
  6. When Helping is Hard (Part 4): Money, it’s complicated
  7. We, the beneficiaries of admin costs, thank you
  8. The circle of your passion
  9. Humanitarian work, psychology, and staff support
  10. Resilience Research Report: The Introduction
  11. Resilience Research Report: The Executive Summary

“Life in Laos” Posts

  1. Upon arrival
  2. Sabaidee – The banquet
  3. Theory to practice
  4. House hunting and powers that be
  5. The existence of poo
  6. Pepsi and pig fat
  7. Date night
  8. Close encounters with the powers that be – take one
  9. Surprised by beauty
  10. When Laos is hard
  11. Photos from Phoukhoun and a word about snakes
  12. The Blessings of the Bai Si
  13. A tale of two right legs
  14. Changing weather and voltage
  15. Great moments
  16. Singular moments and nuanced epics
  17. Two extremes on the fun scale: Monkeys and colds
  18. Lessons learned about Laos, parenting, and development work in Phonxai
  19. When the professional meets the social in Laos
  20. Climbing Phousi Hill
  21. Please don’t feed the monks
  22. Happy New Year from Laos
  23. Happy times in VangVieng

“Just for fun” posts

  1. Friendly companions from Siberia
  2. World’s worst elephant mahout
  3. A tale of two puppies
  4. It’s a boy
  5. In which we talk about animals
  6. In which I answer seeker’s questions
  7. Bank cards and inner children

7 responses to “About

  1. Hi Lis. Michael Barr here. Do you have a normal email address I can write to you at? Gotta question for you about Laos. Thanks M

  2. Hi Lisa! 🙂 SO glad that Patty connected us. Your posts definitely provide lots of laughs and things to ponder. 🙂 Our baby was born October 17. After a month of “Chinese postpartum confinement” I am now catching up with the net life.

  3. Hi Lisa,
    Just finished reading your book My Hands Came Away Red and I simply love it. I would love to know more of what happened to the wonderful characters in your book. My question, Are you writing another book now? If so what is it about?
    I’m a reviewer and blogger. I will be posting my review of your wonderful book soon.
    Blessings to you,
    Trinity Rose

    • Hi Trinity! Thank you so much for your kind words. Yes, I do have another book coming out very soon, a memoir called LOVE AT THE SPEED OF EMAIL. It should be out about mid-April this year. I’d love it if you would review that book when it comes out, and I’ll put your email address on my review alert list for the new book. Many thanks again, Lisa

  4. I have to say, even with just the one book out so far, you are one of my favourite authors. The realism of the characters gave “my hands came away red” the feel of a non-fiction novel. I consider it the best book I have ever read.

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