This past week has been devoted to Lao New Year. I've been up in Xieng Khouang Province, where most of my Lao friends live. I enjoy making the rounds of relatives, parties at the offices of Lao development partners, attending very ceremonies, etc. This often involves eating a lot and drinking BeerLao.
The skies threaten rain, a bit early and a bit heavy for this time of the year. The mornings start off very foggy, followed by clear skies in the late morning/ early afternoon. In the late afternoons, the thunderclouds roll in, followed by a storm for several hours.
Thunderclouds moving in.
We climbed partway up the mountain to make offerings to Am's parents and clear the area around their monuments (which contain the ashes). We hurried back across the fields as the sky started to get darker.
We stopped at the Buddhist temple in Mun Village, where Am was born. During the war, the B52s made daily bombing raids. Am remembers running across the field to take refuge in this temple. One day, a plane dropped a 250 lb. bomb, which landed next to the temple - but did not explode. The villagers revere the Buddha image in this temple for its ability to protect people.
View from the back of the temple, past a prayer flag.
The roof and monument were replaced on the temple six years ago.
We returned to Phonsavanh, meeting the thunderstorm along the way
That's my contribution for Skywatch Friday - other pictures from around the world can be found at Skywatch Friday.