Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sok Di Pii Mai!

Happy Lao New Year

Lao New Year is celebrated in April with lots of water throwing and good wishes. At our office we also celebrated with a baci followed by a bar-be-que in our garden. We invited all the MCC Lao staff and volunteers plus the advisory group who had a meeting with us that afternoon.

We bar-be-qued a cow and enjoyed the evening together.

If you want to see some pictures of how things look on the streets during Lao New Year, go back to the archives of this blog for last April.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Countdown

We are counting down the days until our departure from Laos, not because we can't wait to go, but because we can't believe we are going and need to be reminded how little time there is left to do whatever it is we want to do before we go.

Here’s what we already have in place:

  • We leave Laos and arrive in Vancouver all on June 29

  • We arrive in Winnipeg on July 6

  • The boys will be going to MBCI in fall.

  • We’d like to buy a house that we can pay for which means we will not be living in the suburbs but more likely the core area. After having lived in a rather colorful neighborhood for the past 6 years, it won’t be a big stretch for us.

  • Arthur has a job! This morning he was offered a position with MCC Manitoba in their material resources section. We are excited about it.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Arthur designed a china cabinet for all the dishes we have accumulated over the years and a French man had his workers build it for us. We had already decided to ship some belongings back to Canada because after 6 years in one spot, it just wasn't working for us to make do with just our airline luggage allowance. The boys have quite a collection of books and Lego which they are unwilling to part with. That, plus the new cabinet and a lot of weaving supplies will help us fill up a few cubic meters.

While he was at it, we asked him if he could make me a new loom out of gleaming dark hardwood. He was happy to oblige. I changed the dimensions of the loom to better fit smaller Canadian homes. (Lao women usually weave under their homes which are on stilts. Lao houses are often fairly big and so space for a loom isn't usually a problem.) In this photo, I'm leaning on the old loom which takes up more floor space than the new one beside me. The new one is taller, thinner and not as long.

The cabinet is really heavy. Each shelf is solid wood and weighs a ton. But thankfully the whole thing comes apart into 7 still-heavy pieces so in the end it only took 3 men to move it into our house.

The French man recycles the wood he uses in his projects and gets most of it from old wooden houses people are tearing down. The hardwood used in the china cabinet is what Lao people always refer to as "mai doo" and after years of searching we've finally found out what that is in English: rosewood. (At least in the case of our china cabinet it's rosewood.)

Foot Update

Here's a photo of both of my feet. Can you see the scar? It's right over the place where the old scar is. Getting the implant out was a lot less pain, swelling and hassle than I thought it would be. It really healed well. I'm still using a cane when I'm away from home; the doctor says it will take about a month for the screw holes in my bones to heal.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Conrad is on the Honor Roll
For the first term of the year,
Conrad found out that all his hard work paid off
and he was one of a few students
who made it on to the honor roll.
We are very proud of him!