musings on music, travel, books, and life from Southeast Asia

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My guest photographer today is Htun Lay, a novice monk at the monastery in Shan State’s Tat Ein village. Except for the photo that I took of him above, all of the other shots are ones that he took, including the “self portrait” below!

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Htun Lay is also a student in Grade 4 at the village’s primary school. And let me tell you: he’s not one of the slackers, but a very diligent student. I’m worried, however, that he’ll do a disappearing act. It seems like every time I assign one of these novice monks the task of being a photography assistant, the following time I return to the village they aren’t around, having been transferred to another monastery in the region. But such is the life of many novice monks in Myanmar. Some are monks for only a few months, or perhaps a year or two, but for the ones that are in it for the long haul it often entails bouncing from one monastery to another.

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I’m not sure what Htun Lay has planned for his future, or how long he plans to study at the monastery, but he sure had a lot of fun with the camera this time. Enjoy these photos, taken by a very personable novice monk.

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