Sunday, 17 June 2018

River Crossing with Elephants

Today Evangeline and I visited the Elephant Village near Luang Prabang and rode elephants through the Nam Khan River.  An awesome day and after 4 years in the lands of elephants it was wonderful to ride one, if only for a short period of time.  Elephants may be like camels - an animal that's cool to ride once, but not a mode of transport you would willingly choose for a long journey.


Saturday, 16 June 2018

Plain of Jars

Evangeline has been introduced to the world of backpacking through a trip to Phonsavanh and the The Plain of Jars.  We stayed in a guesthouse with a "very hard bed" and traveled by bus for 8 hours.  The Jars are amazing and mysterious.  The origin, the purpose and the civilization behind these enigmatic megolothic jars is largely unknown, but Australian archeologists are researching where these people came from as shown in this ABC clip.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Farewell to VIS

Today was my last day at VIS.  It was busy, chaotic and emotional, but lovely too.  A farewell baci ceremony was an important and moving part of the day.  "Out with the old, in with the new!" is the blessing given as a baci string is tied around your wrist and you celebrate the person.  I have more than a wrist full of strings and a heart full of wonderful positive and warm wards from students and staff.  I will miss VIS, especially the gorgeous students.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Go Socceroos

The Socceroos are in town - well in spirit at least.  The latest billboard infront of the Australian Embassy is in support of the Socceroos.

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Evangeline is in Laos

My neice Evangeline is visiting for two weeks.  Its great to have her here.  So far she has been enjoying Laos life, but finding it very hot and humid.  Last night we wandered along the "Mekong Promenade" and posed for a "selfie" in front of the Laos flags.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Last Minute Visits - Buddha Park

One place I have been meaning to visit, and left to my last weekend is The Buddha Park, also called Xieng Khuan.   It is a very bizarre place, a collection of over 200 statues, with Buddhist and Hindu links (gods, demons and animals).  It was built in 1958 by a Buddhist Monk, who also built a similar park over the Mekong in Thailand.

It was built in 1958 by Luang Pu Bunleua Sulilat, a monk who studied both Buddhism and Hinduism. This explains why his park is full not only of Buddha