Saturday, July 31, 2010

What a Week

Sorry for such a long time in between posting. This first week in the temples has been the most difficult week here. My very first experience was walking into a loud Sala Chan (where they hold their ceremonies). Inside the Sala Chan the monks were sitting on a raised platform chanting while 70-80 people sat on straw mats placed on the floor praying. As soon as I walked in all heads turned to stare at the foreigner. My translators and myself were quickly questioned about who we were, where I came from, how long was I here, what I was doing and so on. I could see the word being spread like wild fire through out the entire crowed. Then it was time to make donations to the temple which was extremely confusing and involved a lot of Soms Soms ( sorry sorry). I had trouble the first two days because of misunderstandings with my translators, but by Wednesday things started to pick up. The first three days we stayed on the temple grounds to interview the monks, lay people and Abbott. On Thursday and Friday we went into the villages which has been a lot more fun. The people at temple were really reserved in their interviews and as interviewers we were just learning still. So many people have offered their children to me ( and themselves) just wanting to get to the United States. They are always joking and not serious. I also get asked a lot if I eat Bi (rice) and they are usually impressed that I do. My khmer is getting a little better, but I was really nervous to use it with the monks so I didn't say to much to them. However in the villages I try my best to speak, but my memory is limited. I have made friends with the temple kittens and usually have one or two sleeping in my lap everyday, which only means I need to get one when I get home:)
I will try to get some pictures up here soon. I will also try to post more often this week. Miss you all. I only have a little over a month left here.

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