Tad Lo Laos, June 2009.
All I head was the sound of the river and a drum in the distance. There was no car horns or even birds for that matter, they all had been hunted in this rural village in the center of Laos. I walked towards the sound of the Drums the roads red packed earth. The temple just down the path from the hut I had just paid to stay in showed little signs of life. It was the sound, the drumming the beating that drew me in. Novice Ouy appeared before, walked up to me, with all of his four and a half feet, the hump on his back, and his beaming smile. “Sawadee” And we bowed with the customary ka. “Do you speak English?” he asked. Novice Ouy and I became friends, brothers we would say. He named me Mr. Joy, and introduced me to his to his superiors, the village, his family, his life.