This event was sponsored by Sasha Alyson. Thank you!
Many people in Laos don't know their actual birthdates, which weren't recorded at the time. But Big Brother Mouse knows his birthday! It was... it was... well, it was 2006, though the exact date is a bit murkey.
A business license and a separate publishing license are needed to publish books in Laos. Early in 2006, we didn't have either of those, but we had books ready for press. So our first five books were co-published in March with Dokked company in Vientiane; then another in April with Action with Lao Children.
In June, fresh from college, Khamla got his business license, then his publishing license (that took longer; officials said they'd never before issued one in our province), then we opened our first shop. June was an exciting month, and we celebrate that, on whatever day is convenient, as our birthday.
This year, Xieng Mouark Bellevue Resort, in the hills above Luang Prabang, helped us celebrate with space at their beautiful resort. Many of our staff jumped into a swimming pool for the first time: "Clearer than river water, and a lot of fun!" was the consensus. The beauty contest ended in a 6-way tie.