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.)