exactly 8 minutes

I have exactly 8 minutes to write a post.  Here’s the low-down:

It’s pretty amazing getting to watch Drs. Gorman & Dorner work, wow.  They are really my heroes.  The Lao participants of the workshop seem to be getting these pretty abstract ideas too, which impresses me.  I have met a few people who I will be working with in the library, and they are all extremely friendly.  Communication will probably be an issue, I hope to learn some Lao as soon as possible.  I’ve gotten a few words so far, but I’m excited to sit down with a teacher and really learn.

I know I’ve been here for nearly 5 days and I don’t have a single piece of photographic evidence, but I just haven’t had any time.  It feels a bit strange to be here in Vientiane, as a foreigner but not a tourist, and yet not even remotely integrated into the Lao culture and basically clueless.  I’ve seen a lot of young white folks, and japanese, walking around town, obviously backpackers, as well as some old heads, mostly men, around the neighborhood where my hotel is.  They probably live here, ex-pats I’m assuming.  I feel a bit isolated, but hopefully soon I will be able to make friends and feel more at home, and less like a stranger.

The library director wants me to move into the University guesthouse, which I am not too keen on.  Firstly, they are trying to charge me a shitload of money, secondly, it seems quite lonely.  I’m afraid to tell him how I feel for fear I will hurt his feelings, but I am meeting some one this evening who will take me to look at some other housing options.

Just in the car, to and from the University, and my short walks around downtown (including getting lost), it seems like there are gilded temples everywhere, monks in orange robes talking on cellphones and riding around in motorbike rickshaws, and

oh no!  my 8 minutes are up!

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