Thursday, 30 June 2016
Wednesday, 29 June 2016
Tuesday, 28 June 2016
Monday, 27 June 2016
In the evening I continued my stroll around the town. In two separate squares or public plazas there was communal dancing. The Tibetan women were out in force, once again in traditional clothing such as their pink headwear.
Sunday, 26 June 2016
More Tibetan women at work. This time building a traditional Tibetan home. This time there were some men on the work site, but it still looked arduous especially carry the mud up the rickety ladder.
You can see the men stamping down the mud into the thick mud walls.
Saturday, 25 June 2016
When I was in Shangri-La I strolled around the town and found this construction site, where women were doing all the work. It seemed back breaking, but they were smiling. Some were wearing traditional aprons and their traditional pink head wear.
Friday, 24 June 2016
Thursday, 23 June 2016
An overview of the commencement of the Baci Ceremony. Baci means spirit calling and we had a similar ceremony at the start of the school year. School leaders are at the center and the village chief leads the ritual. Key people are connected by threads and those beyond continue the connections by touching someone next to them.
Wednesday, 22 June 2016
On the last day of school the entire school community participated in a Baci ceremony to farewell and bless everyone as they left for summer vacation. At the end of the ceremony you tie cotton threads around the wrist of a person and offer them a blessing and good wishes as you do so. Here I am tying a string onto Jayde's wrist and then she tied one onto mine.
Tuesday, 21 June 2016
Grade 12 students are also presented with Spirit Dragons when they leave. Here I am a few weeks ago after the Grade 12 awards night with one of my favourite students Vanisa Vongphanaphone. Vanisa is hard working and unassuming and absolutely gorgeous. It has been a pleasure to work with her this year to support her applications for colleges and scholarships. She has been accepted into universities in The Netherlands and Canada and will make a final decision soon. Vanisa hopes to study Liberal Arts and Sciences, probably sociology and then return to Laos to work in a way that will improve the quality of life in her country, especially access to education.
Monday, 20 June 2016
The end of the school year is always as sad time at International schools as staff and student move on. The transition process at the end of the year is planned and inclusive. In advisory we wrote messages for leaving students and presented them to the students in Sticky Rice baskets.
At the secondary assembly peers spoke about those leaving and presented them with a VIS Spirit Dragon. There are 6 students leaving Grade 10 this year. Here I am with three of them - Daria is moving back to Germany with her family, Alexandra is going to boarding school in England and Alexander is moving to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia with his family. All gorgeous kids that I will miss a lot.
Sunday, 19 June 2016
I have been back in Vientiane over the weekend, packing up the apartment and preparing for my trip home to Australia for the summer break.
I am looking forward to being cold and rugging up, but it was nice to spend time pool side in Champasak, being by the pool makes the heat manageable.
I thoroughly enjoyed a few days of relaxation at The River Resort in Champasak. It was great to spend time with friends Donna and Jim Samon and to relax by and swim in the infinity pool.
Saturday, 18 June 2016
The restaurant's name describes these woven chook cages. The place was decorated with them. On our drive to the Bolavan plateau we passed several caneware stalls selling these chook cages and other woven basketware. I fancy a few in the back yard at Finch Street - maybe with some chooks in them or just as sculptural items.