Saturday, July 28, 2007

Buddhist Lent

Tomorrow starts the season of the Buddhist Lent, called Khao Phansaa. During this season, everyone is supposed to be on their best behavior - no alcohol or drugs, no fooling around, no weddings or other loud parties. We had a happy hour at the office yesterday, so we started discussing what we were all going to abstain from over the next three months. For me, no alcohol and I'm going to go back on a high glycemic index diet, exercise daily and lose weight. I've done that before and both my glucose and cholesterol were in much better control. The only problem is in keeping it up - recently, between both work and travel, it's just been too crazy.

The rainy season is mainly a time for introspection. It follows the period of time when the rice has been planted, but people should not be traveling because they should be preparing for the coming year. Monks are supposed to stay at their home monasteries so they do not walk in the fields and kill the tiny animals by stepping on them.

Unfortunately, with modern times and development, the principles of the rainy season are not followed as carefully as before. People have parties and there are even weddings during this time. When I first came to Laos, everything grew quiet during the rainy season; there were few motor vehicle accidents because people stayed at home and did not drink. Now things continue much as before, with some of the elders following the principles of the Buddhist Lent.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Well, life is...

...still carrying me away. Don't have nearly enough time to do the things I have to do. And then there's the things I should do. And a small portion of the day devoted to what I want to do. Job satisfaction? Don't ask.

However, today we had an incredible preparation training for a workshop we're doing next week. The consultant is a good friend and we work well together. I could see the smoke coming out of people's ears, from having to think so much. But I know that it's good for them!