Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A Lao Wedding in Four Parts

This weekend we joined the celebration as some Lao friends of ours got married. The wedding was in four parts spread over a few weeks but it culminated in the activities of last weekend.

Part I: The Church Wedding

We met at the Catholic Cathedral in Vientiane and enjoyed a lovely church wedding. This part of the wedding was held a few weeks ago -- before the beginning of Lent.

Part of the MCC group that was there for this important ceremony (both above and below).

Part II: The Vietnamese Ceremony

This ceremony started at the groom's house. All of the gifts for the bride and her family had been carefully chosen and were presented in boxes covered with red embroidered clothes. We then formed a procession and drove to the bride's house.

From across the street, the groom and his friends and family called to the bride's side.

There was a "gate" on the bride's side which the guests could easily pass through but the groom had some difficulty getting through. After presenting the gate keepers with envelopes stuffed with money a few times, they relented and let him pass into the bride's living room.

The gifts were presented and other ceremonies took place.

Part III: The Lao Baci

The baci (special Lao string-tying ceremony) took place at the groom's house. He and the bride changed out of their Vietnamese clothing and put on traditional Lao wedding clothes. The groom's grandmother had a special place to sit (below).

Part IV: The Reception
The reception took place at a large, new hall in town. There was a receiving line at the beginning where close to 1,000 guests greeted the happy wedding party. There was lots of great food at the buffet and plenty to drink. After dinner there was a dance.
It was a great time to be together and to help our friends celebrate their new marriage. We wish them God's richest blessings!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Ian and Angela Go To

Luang Prabang

Last weekend we went to Luang Prabang,

the ancient kingdom's capital and now a world heritage site.

We had lots of fun seeing the sights and doing the tourist things.

One morning we took an elephant ride.

We went through rice paddy, over small hills,

through a dry stream bed and

through a river.

Then we took a long narrow Lao boat upstream to

a "waterfall".

This being the dry season, we went to a
"dry" waterfall.

The next day, we managed to find a waterfall
where the water is still running
-- even in the dry season.

We also visited some sun bears
or Asian bears that were being protected.

Today we saddly dropped Ian and Angela off at the airport.
It didn't quite look like this
but we did watch them make the start of a long journey home.


We are Excited!

The Giesbrechts sent us some Roots T-shirts!
We are very thankful to have them.
It took a while to find a day where we could all wear them
in a photo.
Because we like them so much,
there was always at least one in the laundry.

OK. We calmed down.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Ian and Angela
Adventures in Laos

On Saturday we went to Buddha Park,
about 25 km out of Vientiane.
Here is Angela stepping out of the mouth of
a giant monster.

They also visited That Luang,
or the Golden Stupa,
which is a Lao national symbol.
The Golden Stupa is home to
a piece of the breastbone of the Buddha.
Can you see them?
They are really small.

As it turns out, "Ian" in Lao
Thus, a picture of a basket of eels

makes in on to our blog.

We also attended a
Lao Baci Ceremony
where people tie stings on to each others
wrists as a symbol of connected-ness
or community.

Ian bought Angela some flowers
which she arranged
and we all enjoyed.

Phyllis at the Patu Xai fountains.

(Victory Monument)

Friday, March 02, 2007

Angela and Ian
We traveled to Phuket the first weekend
and had fun at the beach.
We spent lots of time in airports too.
But there was lots to talk about and
catch up on.

Here they are in Laos!