Thursday, 31 December 2015
Wednesday, 30 December 2015
Reflections - The end of the year is a time for reflecting and maybe some planning.
2015 has been a year of adventure, travel and challenge. A year connecting with family and friends in Australia and missing them, but also a time to meet new friends, visit new places and face new professional and personal challenges. More of the same in 2016
Tuesday, 29 December 2015
Monday, 28 December 2015
It's a very Laos scene - a bicycle, a wat, monks, lush greenery, tackiness and tradition.
Sunday, 27 December 2015
Saturday, 26 December 2015
Thursday, 24 December 2015
Ginger Chicken from this "restaurant" around the corner has become a favourite. Sometimes I sit at the concrete table to eat and watch the street life, other times I take a plastic container and get takeaway. Its yummy, especially the hot spiciness of the ginger. At 40,000 kip, approx $4.00 its a bargain, plus the lady is very friendly and always happy to see me.
However I am looking forward to the traditional Christmas turkey at home in Australia.
Wednesday, 23 December 2015
Tuesday, 22 December 2015
Saturday, 19 December 2015
This week has been "spirit week" with students dressing up according to a different theme each day.
Today each advisory was to choose their own theme. My group of Grade 10s, with persuasion, dressed up as Scientific Santas.
SCIENTIFIC SEASONAL GREETINGS FROM LAOS.
Friday, 18 December 2015
Luang Prabang was once a royal city and as such contains many exotic and beautiful temples that are still home to a large community of monks.
Many of the monks, like those the boys met on Mount Phousi are novices, studying Buddhism and learning English in the monasteries with little intention of becoming a monk when they are older.
Thursday, 17 December 2015
The boys have been loving riding the scooters. We hired scooters in Luang Prabang on Saturday to ride to a waterfall and explore the countryside.
Tonight they rode and in and out of town weaving through the traffic like locals.
Tomorrow they are hiring one and using mine to explore Vientiane and beyond. I will be at work - slightly concerned - but confident they will ride safely.
Tuesday, 15 December 2015
Monday, 14 December 2015
Tom and Will arrived in Laos on Wednesday and have moved through culture shock to appreciation of the relaxed way of life in Laos.
We had a great day today at Elephant Village near Luang Prabang, riding and caring for rescued elephants.
Sunday, 13 December 2015
Tinsel, santa suits and christmas trees have appeared on the corner of my street. The roadside stall on the at the intersection of a busy road - Khouvieng Boulevard, normally sells flags and some snacks, but has used the holiday season to branch out with especially gorgeous Chinese decorations.
Saturday, 12 December 2015
There is now an Irish bar in Vientiane - O'Grady's Irish Pub. Its run by an Irish man, Sean, with red hair of course - very Irish looking and sounding.
I went there last week to see Chris Lister, a friend from school perform. He has a great voice, sang some original material as well as covers of Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash. I opted for a Beer Lao with my bangers and mash, but Guinness is available - a reason to return.
Friday, 11 December 2015
I thought the performances were great, the costumes interesting and the production very creative. Students from elementary and secondary were involved as well as staff, and parents. Well done VIS and Envision Theatre.
Thursday, 10 December 2015
Wednesday, 9 December 2015
Tuesday, 8 December 2015
iCat gallery presents exhibitions from local artists. At the moment she has mounted Kin Khao, a collaborative photography exhibition featuring two Vientiane based photographers. The images are thematically arranged and capture life within and beyond the landscape and the interactions of people with the landscape in Laos. The photos also capture and convey the challenges currently facing the country.
There were some wonderful market images by Mick Shippen. (I love taking market photos -so they were very inspirational)
Tessa Bunney, an English photographer currently based in Laos, worked closely with ethnic communities to present some fascinating images.
Catherine O'Brien (in the photo) curates and organises the exhibitions in a lovely open gallery space below her apartment. Catherine teaches art at VIS and is from Australian, and of course because it is a small world is a good friend of the McIntyres from Stanley.Visit their websites for further inspiration
Monday, 7 December 2015
A lazy Sunday morning this morning at Cafe Vanille. I am happy to have found this place- baguettes, croissants, tarte citron, pain au raison and free wifi so I can read The Age online. The coffee is reasonable and there is a range of breakfast options.
Sunday, 6 December 2015
Beechworth does a very good parade - Easter, the Celtic Festival - colour and movement, drums and bagpipes and dogs and kids.
However it pales into insignificance compared to the Laos National Day parade which featured large military groups and representatives of ethnic minorities.
Beechworth Parades are along Camp Street and the public can line the road side.
I didn't get to see the Laos National Day Parade as it is at the Marching Grounds and only invitees can attend.
Thursday, 3 December 2015
Wednesday, 2 December 2015
Vientiane Central opened not long after I arrived here in August. Yesterday was my first visit. Dead as a door nail at 6 pm and it looks empty whenever I pass. The cars on the ground level are a Jag, a Rolls and a Bentley - just what you need on the dusty unpaved roads of Vientiane. Maybe if you can afford these cars you can also arrange to have the roads near your home sealed.
There was nothing the average Laos person - or foreign teacher could afford. There is a department store on the right with the usual cosmetic counters on the ground floor and fashion above. Not only were there few people there were limited products on display as well.
Tuesday, 1 December 2015
Shop window is the December theme for the City Daily Photo community.
While there are no glass windows in the shops in Laos markets the image is a window into this shop.