Mar 11, 2008

earth to kenna...still here!

no excuses for my lack of postings of late, but internet was very slow to unusable in Cambodia. photo management is still taking up my 'free' time (or, time when i have to force myself to sit down and work). alas, i am still here on the road.

more to come on Indonesia, a few days in Bangkok, the temples at Angkor/Siem Reap, and Luang Prabang, Laos. My friend Lori joined us in Bangkok - and then there were four. fun to change it up with a new face from home! hopefully more of you will join along the way. luckily Lori is really into photography too, so she's fit right in with the clicking camera gang.

this morning we gave alms to the Buddhist monks & novices (Luang Prabang is full of 'em) by handing out sticky rice as they process down the block. orange is a nice color to wake up to in the wee hours of the morning. we've based ourselves here in Luang Prabang and are taking day or overnite trips -- we definitely are a bit weary of moving around every few days.

our overniter involved an elephant trek wherein we learned how to be a Mahout, a traditional elephant caretaker/driver. we wore their outfits consisting of blue pajama lowriders and a matching short sleeve button down shirt. comfy clothing, which is nice since riding an elephant bareback isn't really so comfy. highlight was giving an elephant a bath in the river with a scrub brush as they sit down in the water so just their heads are sticking out. they are such gentle beings, despite their size. We quizzed eachother on the elephant commands before our Mahout training session. Pai! Pai! "Go. Go." Ya! Ya! "No - don't break off that bamboo for a snack" Meplang! "Sit down" - that one was a bit scary, but a convenient way to get off the elephant. Instead of a minivan we took a 2 hour kayak trip down the river to get back to town. Cool to see folks having bbqs, kids fishing by sticking their heads in the water facing upstream with a snorkel mask on, bathing, washing dishes or clothing, or just hanging out along the river.

My favorite part about Luang Prabang are the monks/novice monks. they are everywhere adorned in bright orange, or various shades. the novices like to walk with umbrellas - it's fashionable according to the novice La whom Lori and I chatted with for a couple hours, but also helps from darkening the skin and makes for great photos. the novices come to study and get an education - several that we spoke with want to be tour guides once they graduate, so they practice English (or Spanish as in La's case) with tourists who make the time for it. of course we made the time. (note: not all novice monks plan to stay in the monkhood for life, it can just be a 4 year thing for school) La invited us back for 5:30pm chanting at his temple which was beautiful and incredibly meditative for me. the energy in this town is amazing. food is tasty too. oh, and internet speed has seriously improved.

what more could i ask?

photos coming - still up: Singapore, Indonesia, Bangkok, Siem Reap, Luang Prabang. Doh!

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