Meet our staff
Memories of early school years
Thipnouda Itthipol comes from the same remote village as Siphone and Bounyang. In the office we use the nickname that she's had since early childhood: Nawla. Naw is the word for a young bamboo shoot; La means last-born, because she was the last-born child of five children, as well as the only daughter. (Khamla, the co-founder of Big Brother Mouse, also has La in his name because he was also the last-born child in his family... until two more brothers came along. Parents don't always predict these things just right.)
Nola wrote Our Food Heritage, which explains traditional techniques of food preparation in Laos. Her personal favorite dishes include mok naw (young bamboo shoots mixed with small pieces of a flavorful leaf, then wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed), grilled fish, and jeo, a spicy dip that adds flavor to sticky rice.
After finishing Our Food Heritage she started work on a set of seven books that provide reading practice at each of the 7 levels of our "I Can Read!" series. In the style of Dr. Seuss's One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, each book contains nonsense rhymes, bringing together creatures and objects in unexpected ways. The Furious Cat is an example.
Nawla wanted to work at Big Brother Mouse because it was an opportunity to help Lao society move forward, and she particularly likes to support reading. She remembers that when she was young she was very shy. Her older brother took her to school, and helped her feel comfortable interacting with others. Today she still has a special interest in pre-school education.