Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 08:04:20 EDT
Subject: SatJaDham 3rd Annual Conference Report

Sabaydii SatJaDham and LaoNet members,
	As most of you may know, SatJaDham had its 3rd Annual Conference.  This
year's conference was held in Seattle, Washington.  The theme of the this
year's conference was "Bridging to the Future: For the Social, Economical, and
Political Advancement of the People from Laos."  The following is an account
of those three special days we spent together.

	By Friday, most of the out of state attendees had arrived.  Everyone met at
Pom Outama's apartment (Hotel Viengchan).  The manager of the building had
given up his apartment as well as another apartment in the building for some
of the out-of-state guests to stay.
	Guests were treated to a barbeque on the rooftop, where they enjoyed a great
view of Microsoft's Emperor Bill Gates' mansion and the lake and the beautiful
mountains.  Everyone had a lot of fun and had a chance to meet each other.
	It turned out that everyone had so much fun that the neighbors got pretty
jealous.  So, they called the police and said that we were too noisey.  But
the police couldn't do anything about it because we were not making much
noise.  That was a highlight of the night.
	After that, we decided we should rest up and get ready for the next day's
event.  But,  some got so attached that they could not leave until way late.

	This was it.  The main day.  At about 6:45 am, the hosting committee headed
out to Johnson Hall at the University of Washington to set up and get ready to
greet guests.  Coffee, and other caffeinated drinks were made available to
keep all the night owls awake.
	Registration began at 8:30 am.  As people walked in they were asked to fill
out a sign in sheet.  The sign-in sheet requested the name, email address,
location, and phone number (optional).  We had a great turnout this year.
There were 90 total attendees.  32 of the attendees were from states outside
of Washington.  They came from everywhere -- District of Columbia, North
Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Arizona,
California, Oregon, and even Canada.
	The grand event got under way when everyone settled in.  Pom gave everyone a
warm welcome and cut the ribbon to open up the Bridge to the Future.
	After everyone was warmed up,  there was an introduction of SatJaDham by
Kongkeo Saycocie.   Then two selections were read from SatJaDham's second
publication.  Alisak Sanavongsay read his poem, "Stung" and Genevieve On Siri
read Kongkeo Saycocie's "Pilgrimage".  
	The first panel came after that.  The goal of the panel was to examine
challenges faced by the Lao community, to prioritize them, and to offer guided
steps toward solutions.  The panel consisted of:
		Steve Arounsack, editor-in-chief of Lao Vision Magazine
		KhamOui Sikhanthat, member of a local Lao organization
		Phon Khampradith, president of Lao Youth and Family Services
		Ka Ying Yang, executive director of Southeast Asian Resource Action Center
		Kongkeo Saycocie, teacher and one founding member of SatJaDham
The panel was moderated by Chareundi Vansi, who gave it a talk show flavor.
The panelists gave a brief introduction of themselves and answered some
questions from the moderator as well as the audience.  Transcripts of this and
the second panel will be made available in the future.
	Later, Ka Ying Yang gave a presentation on the Southeast Asian Resource
Action Center (SEARAC).  For more information about SEARAC please check out
their website at or email to
	Daryl Gordon followed with her presentation about a research she is starting
for her PhD.  She will be exploring "How third-wave Lao refugees create,
respond to and resist opportunities to use English."  Anyone who has some
interesting experience to share with her can contact her by email.
	Then, more PR for Lao Vision Magazine.  Steve Arounsack made some more
announcements about the magazine and how one would go about subscribing.  For
more information please go to .
	Unable to stand the rumbling of the attendees stomaches, the hosting
committee finally broke down and called for a 30 minute lunch break.  The
lunch was prepared early in the morning under the direction of Viphavanh (Oud)
Bounyavong, our cook for all seasons.
	After lunch, the second panel took to the stage.  This panel consisted of
professionals in different fields to present, discuss, and answer questions
and concerns with regards to their area of expertise in hopes to create a
network of Lao professionals and students.  Panelists included the following:
		KhamOne Keopraseuth, social worker at Oregon Health Sciences Univ.
		Chareundi Vansi, Multnomah County Hospital
		Sky Boulom, chiropractor
		Bruce Bliatout, medical doctor
		Toon Phapphayboun, community college teacher
		Tou Meksavanh, President of SEARAC
		Kyle Louangrath, engineer at Boeing 
		Bonnie Louangrath, designer/analyst at Intermec Technologies Corp
		Into Champon, attorney-at-law
		Prany Sananikone, director of diversity relations at Univ. of CA Irvine
The moderator, Sadachanh Sinantha, gave the audience and himself the
opportunity to "pick the panelists' heads".
	Kag Khetsavanh presented The Student & Professional Network.  This was a way
for students and professionals to look each other up and help each other over
the Internet.
	The presentation of SatJaDham's second book followed.  The book was presented
by Toon Phapphayboon.  There are copies still available.  Find an SJD
distributor near you and ask him or her to send you a copy or two.
	The final presentation was Troy Prasouvo's Internet Playground.  For the
third year in a row, we were unable to get a working connection to the
Internet.  So, we didn't get to go live again this year.  But as always, Troy
came through with an entertaining and educating and educating presentation
about the risks, and rewards of the Internet.
	Time was set aside for those who wanted to make any special announcements.
Soudary Kittivong passed out some information about Leadership Education for
Asian Pacifics (LEAP).  Genevieve On Siri talked about government jobs in
Phoenix, Arizona.  For more information, please contact these two individuals.
	Closing remarks shut the hall down and directed everyone to the next event.
Closing remarks were made by Prany Sananikone and Chansom Sengsirivanh.  If
the name Chansom sounds familiar, it's because he is the writer of many, many
famous Lao songs.  He has promised to write a theme song for SJD.
	Having finished our business in Johnson hall, we moved to a Lao restaurant
called "Savanh Cafe."  The guests filled their stomaches and the festivities
began.  The dance floor was opened up by two little dancers.  Each performed a
classical dance. Then, the dance floor was filled by people ready to dance
until they drop.  After 10pm the party cleared out.  Some went to sleep;
others went to another place to continue bonding and dancing until the sun
came up.

	A picnic area was reserved for us at beautiful Lincoln Park, but
unfortunately, too many people were doing the Rain Dance the night before.
And we got it!!!  So, the barbeque was moved to Souchinda Viradet's house.  
	By the time, everyone got there, the rain had stopped.  The barbeque grills
were fired up.  The sard (plastic mats) were laid out for people to sit in the
backyard.  We were going to have a barbeque no matter what.
	Our mighter barbequers soon got their greatest test.  The rain came in
buckets.  Did that phase them?  No way!!  One word: umbrellas... Big ones,
baby.  Thanks to the barbequers and their big umbrellas, no one starved.  Now,
that's what you call "determination."
	Those who couldn't handle the rain, went inside and started a game of Taboo.
If you'd like more information about the game, please contact Kag.  He's
probably played it more times than all of us combined.
	After the barbeque, some people got on the plane and went home.  Some went to
rest.  Some went to cleanup.
	That night, the remaining out-of-towners got together at a karaoke and sang
and danced the night away.  By that night, everyone was so close, you would
never have guessed that we had only met each other 3 days ago.
	Those who made it to the conference will never forget this wonderful weekend.
Those who missed it,  you really missed out.  But, there's always new year.
So, keep your schedule clear for next year's SatJaDham conference which will
be held in Washington, DC.  The date will mostly likely be the weekend before
or after July 4th.  See you there.
	Well, that's the report. :)) Sorry you had to wait so long.  If anything was
misreported please let me know.  And if there were some important stuff I left
out, let me know also.

	Hak hpaang,

SatJaDham Information:

Pictures from 3rd Conference: