Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Feeding the Monks

Susan and I decided to participate in alms while in Loas. Alms is the daily early morning ritual of the monks accepting offerings from the people of the town. Everyone lines up on the sidewalk and waits for the monks to go by and when they do the people make an offering of food in exchange for a blessing. I didn't know this was the ritual, so you might say I missed the whole thing. And I did at first. Susan and I hit the sidewalk at 6AM and waited for alms to begin. Of course as soon as I get there I have to poop. I am dancing around, I am anxious I might miss the monks. I don't want to miss the monks. I look way down the street both ways and I can't see any monks. I tell Susan what I have to do and I run back to our room. When I get back all I can see is a dot of saffron. Chit! Dammit if the temple wasn't right across the street behind some trees. As soon as I left the monks slipped onto the street and were completely gone by the time I got back. We did it wrong anyway. We brought no offering, we got no blessing. We decide to try again. The next morning Susan's little Loas boyfriend ( our guide the previous day) picked us up on his motorbike ( I got the "back seat"). Having been a monk himself he was able and willing to give us a lesson in participating in alms. I thought you buy a bowl of rice and give it to one Monk, he says something like "bless you my child" and that's it; I am blessed. No it is even better, you give just a pinch of rice to each Monk and you get many blessings. One blessing per pinch. Susan complained becuase she ran out of rice before I did.


Anonymous said...

Love the pictures. Can't wait to talk to you about the sounds and smells. That never comes through the pics no matter how close I sniff. Hey, Happy Thanksgivving!! Staying home with my family this year. I actually have Wed through Sun off.

Take care and be careful, a little bit. Love John

Anonymous said...

We are all thinking about you Tracy and miss you!!! travelling can make you need a vacation from your vacation! enjoy the islands of Thailand...and regroup, read a book and enjoy the journey! I've been emailing on your other email as well. Love Kara Love the stories, I am sure there are 1000 more for each picture.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tracy and Cindy,

I'm loving all of your pictures, music, and fun stories!! I look forward to reading more! Thanks for taking the time to let "us" enjoy your experiences too! Be safe and Happy Thanksgiving.
love, Tracy (Shetterly) Graves