Tuesday, November 27, 2012

That Luang Festival 2

The main part of the That Luang festival took place early in the morning on November 28th. Monks from all around Laos come to receive alms from people who come from many different provinces. The alms are given in order to store up merit for rebirth into a better life.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

That Luang Festival

The official days of the That Luang (Taht Lou-ahng) Festival are two days before, the day before and the day of the full moon in November. This year it falls on the 26th, 27th and 28th. For the past two weeks, though, there have been festivities in the huge parking lot outside of That Luang.

The Ferris Wheel was definitely my favorite part this year. It was good to feel a bit removed from all of the insanity happening below and be able to observe it all from the air.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Working Together

A few weeks ago the power went out at night. I was reading via headlamp and saw what looked to be a piece of poop climbing the wall. I took a closer look and realized it was about two dozen ants carrying a chocolate Frosted Flake.

Here they are rounding the corner that goes under the stairs. I found myself actually cheering them on. 

I was so distracted taking pictures and videos that I forgot to throw away the Frosted Flake. It's probably somewhere upstairs being made into a little ant village.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Artsy Fifth Graders

This week we talked about block lettering and background space. First they drew part of the alphabet in block letters. Then they erased the lines that connected so that the letters looked like they were stuck together. They could then decide whether to color in the background or the letters.

Some students finished early, so they made another one using a phrase or word that they chose. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Lao Funeral

Last Wednesday my school director's husband died. On Thursday and Friday there were Baci ceremonies (mentioned here) and the funeral was on Saturday. When we arrived at the temple, the monks led the procession inside. The young male family members joined them by shaving their heads and wearing orange robes. The older male relatives wore either black or white and came next in the procession 

After them came the nuns. This included female family members and close friends. They all wore white which is the color of mourning.  

After the nuns came the truck that held the casket. A rope was tied to the front of the truck and held by every member of the procession to signify the monks and nuns leading the body to the temple. 

After we were all seated, the story of his life was read and the monks chanted. Then we all put incense sticks and flowers on the casket. The casket and body were burned at the end of the ceremony.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Semper Bufo

It seems like there have been a lot of toadys plopping around outside lately. I didn't realize until after I put these pictures on my computer that this toad has a little beard!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Boat Racing Video and GIF

It's amazing how fast those boats were! While we were there, it was fun to see this helicopter with a giant Lao flag hanging from it.



Thursday, November 1, 2012

Vientiane Boat Racing Festival

On Wednesday afternoon, a friend and I joined the thousands of people by the Mekong to watch the boat races. This festival signifies the end of the rainy season and the beginning of the cool*/dry** season. 

*cool = upper 70s
**dry = less than 100% humidity