I forgot to ask his name. This young monk greeted me while I was walking around a wat in Luang Prabang. He was still wearing a wool cap against the morning cold, and wiping clean the silver recipient used to collect food donations. He put them aside as we struck a conversation that lasted at least an hour. He amazed me. Besides his mother tongue, he had learned Lao, Chinese and English, and was learning French and Spanish on his own. He gave Unesco workshops in casting bronze Buddha statues – and in Photoshop. He would like to go to Montréal to learn French better. He'd been a monk since age 5 and would love to be one "forever", but his siblings were scattered all over the country and there was no-one to take care of his parents, so he would probably have to leave and work. In this case he hoped to be an English teacher or tourist guide. There was such a quietude about him.


A penny for your thoughts!