Monday, January 24

Sunrise Service

We got up at 6:30 today to attend temple. Apparently 2 Mondays a month are a big deal at the temple. We all wore sarongs to show respect, though I'm not sure how respectful mine was as it kept falling off. We went to the temple and lit inscense in many places, listed to the village spiritual leader chant and then to the monks chant.

We were then invited to the spiritual leader's home. He had been given hotel toiletries years ago by other westerners and asked us what they meant, how they were special. He did want to believe our explanation that they were probably all they had to offer at the time. He'd been keeping a miniature sewing kit and shower cap for all these years, and it seems was going to continue to do so. He offered us bettle nut, those in our group desperate for some caffine or interested in experiencing a new thing, gave it a try. It appeared to be very similar to that in India. This is wraped in leaves, dyes your teeth and gums red, an instant nicotine type rush. Although, this I'm saying from observation not experience as I didn't try it in either local.

Breakfast was sauteed greens, rice, 2 meat stews (fish and chicken), black sesame chili paste and fresh sweet tamarind. My first experience with the sweet tamarind, sticky, a bit sour, peel the husk, don't eat the dark brown beautiful seeds; though the seeds can be dry roasted and turned to tea.

We continued work on the baandin kitchen/store room, it's almost finished. Amazing how fast it's going up. We've got the window holes created; two of the windows are arched windows, two in the storage area will have wooden frames put in and panes of wood and a glass bottle window decoration of layered brown and clear glass bottles. We have around 15 layers of bricks layed, in just two days!

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