Friday, October 2, 2009

Boat building

There are so many beautiful sights in Laos that it is hard to imagine that there may be an event in the future with the potential to top all that you have seen so far.

An upcoming Buddhist festival is called Lai Hua Fai, or Festival of Lights. The name alone sounds exotic but when we found out that it involved setting small boats afloat on the Mekong river, decorated with candles and prayers, we were all glad that we were still to be on the project and able to see it.

It was with some excitement that we were invited by a Buddhist Monk, who is our contact at the Monk school, to see his temple's boat under construction. A work in progress, the boat far exceeded our expectations, both in size and design and was the scene of intricate work being carried out by a group of novice monks. We admired the boat from all angles and complimented the novices on their work but soon were put to work ourselves.

A short time later a few bamboo constructions were added to the novices work and, come the actual festival, we will be able to not only admire the beauty of one particular boat as it makes it journey but proudly point to it and say that we helped. I just hope that it stays afloat long enough to make it out of sight.