Entries Tagged as 'laos'

TO-DO LIST (Luang Prabang, Laos):

December 13th 2012

SNACK: Le Café Ban Vat Sene. French colonization at its finest—delicious coffee and lemon tarts (which, hot tip, are half price after 9PM)

VOLUNTEER: Luang Prabang Library. Show up on Saturday afternoons to interact with locals all hungry to learn, it’s that simple.

FEAST: The Nightstalls. From one dollar fruit shakes to fifty cent fried noodles, it’s really more of an all you can eat buffet.

WATCH: Morning Alms Ceremony. The 4:45AM wake up call is worth it to witness the peaceful, meaningful morning procession of monks.

TOUR: Temples. Rent a bike and explore the series of stunning temples around town.

ADVENTURE: Tiger Trails. This hardcore trekking company offers plenty—hiking, rafting, cycling and elephants…but alas, no tigers.

BUY: Jewelry. Some of my favorite keepsakes were found in the tiny silver stalls along Sakarin.

HIKE: Mount Phu Si. Extensive views, interesting statues and even an old Russian anti-aircraft gun!

READ: Big Brother Mouse. Show up at 7PM for the nightly mentorship program which helps teach kids to speak English.

Morning Alms Ceremony

August 19th 2012

Every morning between 5:30 and 6am, hundreds of monks from Luang Prabang line up to receive food from both locals and tourists alike in a ritual known as tak bat.

The monks walk single file along the main street in descending age order, each carrying an alms bowl, and oftentimes an umbrella, too—for the morning rain.

The entire ritual is silent and extremely peaceful…by far one of my favorite experiences here in Laos.

August 16th 2012

Mekong River (Luang Prabang, Laos) (Taken with Instagram)

August 12th 2012

A monk’s view (Mount Phousi, Luang Prabang, Laos)

Volunteering in Luang Prabang, Laos

August 11th 2012

I’m back to limited internet, so apologies in advance for sporadic/lack of posting…

Luang Prabang, Laos is quite possibly one of the most incredible places I’ve been on this entire adventure. It’s a quiet town along the Mekong river filled with temples, schools, bookshops, small cafes and MONKS! I would estimate I see about a hundred a day and I gawk like an awkward schoolgirl every time.

They go about their daily lives all over the village and often stop and take the time to talk about life and Buddhism with anyone who asks (#me). There’s also an alms ceremony every morning at 5am, which I’ll share more on…once I go.

Volunteer programs abound—have TONS more to share on this, too—which is why I’m here/how I’ve been spending my time. Every day I teach English to kids and adults, depending on who shows up. Volunteering has always been a big part of my life and I am always amazed at how selfishly unselfish it is—doing good makes me feel SO freaking good!

There’s also an innocence and an eagerness in these students that makes me feel all kinds of positive adjectives: happy, hopeful, warm, alive. They are desperate to speak English, to read, to fulfill their dreams. Mind you it’s summer vacation now, so they’re spending their free time—many of them bicycling from villages an hour away—to take advantage of free classes so they can converse and absorb as much as humanly possible from native English speakers. AND—they are SO smart!

I could go on and on, like a schoolgirl myself (again), but one of my newfound little buddies sneezed at the beginning of a lesson and when I said “G-d bless you” he wrote it down and asked me question after question about why I said it/what it meant. I ended up ultimately saying it was along the lines of “I hope you feel better” (…you try explaining it). A half hour later I was struck with a coughing fit to which he immediately and earnestly burst out with “G-d bless you.”

I meannn.

I’ll be here for a while and promise more stories as well as pictures and detailed information about the incredible programs that are making a difference here.

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