Sunday, 28 February 2016
There has been a flurry of road making in Vientiane over the past month. Life goes on as normal while the roads are made. Today I watched as the concrete truck delivered the concrete into this small street, the man in gumboots spread it out by marching up and down in it and the guy in the thongs was spreading it out using a plank. Mean while at the side of the road the ladies in the salon watched as they had their hair and nails done - Life in Laos.
Saturday, 27 February 2016
Friday, 26 February 2016
Thursday, 25 February 2016
Banana stalls (wooden trailers) line a section of Khouvieng Blvd, the main road from my apartment to school. This lady had stopped to inspect the products before buying a bunch for 10,000 kip (approx $2.00). The banana variety changes with the season and the quality is also varied. These bananas would be imported from Thailand, although there are banana plantations in the north of Laos.
Wednesday, 24 February 2016
Yes that is the title of the event - It is not about your mother's mouth - but language.
VIS has a strong mother tongue program to support student to learn their own language and get credit in the IB program. Today we celebrated the diverse program. Lao food, Thai candy, Danish Lego, Norwegian vikings, Japanese origami, French pin the flag on the Eiffel tower, Korean games and costumes, Chinese puzzles, and more.
The German's didn't have beer and the Spanish stand didn't have Rjoca or Sherry, the French lacked wine, and I the Vientnamese were there but without food or drink.
My contribution was to use the words "Bonza", "Gidday" and "Mate" a lot in advisory - but the students were less than impressed.
Tuesday, 23 February 2016
Monday, 22 February 2016
Sunday, 21 February 2016
There was considerable action tonight at Wat Simeuang - the temple near where I live. So I went in to investigate. A sea of white clad devotees sat filling the grounds of the temples - all connected by white strings.
I loved this lady's hat/beanie and the fact that most of the young people were attached to their devices as well as the sacred strings.
Everyone- young, old - male, female, were dressed in white and tied together by white strings, sitting listening to chanting and lectures and preparing offerings of flowers and candles. Some statues of Buddha were also wrapped in white cloth,
White is a color of purity and longevity in Buddhism. The strings link people in common prayer.
I am not sure what the ceremony was for (google suggests Nirvana Day) but it looked like they were staying the night as they has pillows and blankets.
Saturday, 20 February 2016
Friday, 19 February 2016
Friday flowers - Mekong Marigolds - taken on they cycle ride along the river. Marigolds are an important Buddhist symbol and form offerings at temples. They are one of the few flowers seen in gardens here. There are small plots of them in fields along the river, grown to be taken into Vientiane for sale as offerings outside the many temples.
Thursday, 18 February 2016
A long ride for a good cause. 450 km - a scarily long distance - especially when it is to be covered in only 4 days in March.
Every year Vientiane's cycling team, Team Dai, embarks on a multi-day cycling tour and raises funds for a local cause. This year, the 9th edition of the ride will take us 450km over four days on roads and tracks and trails between Vientiane and Vang Vieng. I have been training on the weekends - on roads and trails by the Mekong and in the mornings (5.50 AM training rides - not a Mary hour)
Team Dai are raising funds for Vientiane Rescue, which provides a free and equitable emergency service to all accident victims in and around Vientiane. Vientiane Rescue is the only roadside medical assistance available in Laos and in 2015 the volunteers rescued approximately 4,000 people. The service relies entirely on volunteers and private donations. Funds raised by Team Dai will help the volunteer team operate 24/7 on the streets of Vientiane.
Please donate to the 2016 Team Dai Challenge, to support Vientiane Rescue. Here is the GoFundMe page:
Wednesday, 17 February 2016
Tuesday, 16 February 2016
Monday, 15 February 2016
Another ride with Team Dai this morning - training for our fundraising ride in March. 100km today was more than enough - but have to do 450 in 4 days - it will be a challenge.
We are raising funds for Vientiane Rescue.
They are the only roadside medical assistance available now in Lao. In 2015, the volunteers rescued over 4000 people. Vientiane Rescue relies entirely on volunteers and donations. The funds we raise will help the team operate 24/7 on the streets of Vientiane.
I would appreciate any donations you can donate to the 2016 Team Dai Challenge, to support Vientiane Rescue at the GoFundMe page:
I rode into town with Emily, who was finding it tough going.
We stopped on the way out at a cafe favoured by Laos cyclists. The fellow with the flash red Specialised (in the yellow) and his mates wanted his photo taken with our group - not sure why, but we obliged.
Sunday, 14 February 2016
Last Saturday on my ride south along the Mekong out of Vientiane, I explored some market garden areas. This man was in a field of eggplants and happily sold us a bag of fresh baby purple eggplants.
Linda made a Laos version of baba ghanoush and I made a yummy spicy eggplant "stew".
Saturday, 13 February 2016
Tonight (Friday night), I went to Kila's wedding reception. Kila works at VIS, in the property management area, but he was in the secondary office with us. He is wonderful - happy and helpful - and young - 24.