There was a phrase I heard over and over in that refugee camp, and it was oht jhai. It has no literal English translation. The closest meaning would be: "This, too, shall pass." Laotians believe all circumstances are temporary, and if you have the patience to wait them out, you will turn a corner. Something better awaits. If not, that too shall pass.
"Perhaps, Sir, you will someday come back with books." The words were uttered in 1998 by the headmaster of a grade school in Bahundanda, Nepal -- that had a library, but no books -- to John Wood, a stressed out American senior executive at Microsoft, who was trekking the area's famed Annapurna Circuit.