I am ecstatic to announce that I recently received my first postcard EVER from the country of Laos! Getting a four-digit PC ID from the Fiji card I received blew my mind; getting this THREE-digit PC ID sent my mind off to space (I can see home from here!) Laos is a country that’s part of Southeast Asia, sitting between Thailand and Vietnam and north of Cambodia (making it a landlocked country). Laos is known for its many natural features, particularly waterfalls/rivers and plentiful limestone mountains/karsts. Most of the population lives at the base of these mountains and by the river Mekong, which flows through a number of countries to the north and provides the citizens with a source of food, power and crop sustenance. Laos is highly forested, and when there are forests, there are lots of unique animals, such as the Asian elephant and the red panda (FYI this is more of a raccoon than a panda!) Hiking and ziplining are common attractions throughout the country, and visitors can enjoy culinary staples such as the national specialty, sticky rice (khao niaw). Unfortunately, Laos is a country facing poverty struggles, and while in recent decades it has cut its poverty rate in half, basic necessities often need to be worked hard for, or simply aren’t available at all. That being said, there is also an emphasis on the simplicity of life, which is especially demonstrated by the Buddhist monks of Northern Laos, who receive alms early every morning from the people (these alms, usually in the form of sticky rice, serve as their sustenance for the day). This postcard here depicts a Hmong girl of Northern Laos. The Hmong people are an ethnic group that has much of its population in the mountain villages of Laos, though is not Laotian. The word is pronounced somewhat like “mong” or “mung”, but with a very small hint of an “h” in the beginning, kind of like an exhale. There is so much to be said about this immaculate country and I can’t do it full justice in an APFY post… but my knowledge of this country has already increased tenfold! Thank you so much for sending me this fantastic postcard!