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

Return of the Laughing Monks

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They’re back! Those irrepressible, sometimes goofy and always friendly novice monks from Shan State’s Tat Ein village, located not far from the shores of scenic Inle Lake.

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Once again, I paid multiple visits to the monastery during my stay in nearby Nyaungshwe. We also managed to sneak in a field trip one day; I rented three trucks and took 90 children, teachers and most of the novice monks to a few sights around Shan State. Stories and photos from that adventure will be forthcoming, but for today, I’ll just post a few (and rest assured, this is only a very small sample of the shots I took at the monastery) photos of the novice monks. Honestly, these kids delight me every time I visit the monastery. Charming, and sometimes pretty darn funny too!

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I’ve noticed, however, that my name has changed a bit over the years. Maybe it’s like a game of Chinese Whispers or something. The monks a few years back all learned my name and it’s been passed on to successive bands of brothers in the passing years. As a result, “Mister Don” now sounds something more like “Mystery Dog.” Hmm … I’ll take it!

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