Sunday, April 17, 2005


Every civilised hot country should have a water festival.

It's now been Songkran for 5 days - usually only three, but conveniently attached to a weekend. Especially exciting for me as we missed Easter.

We've been invited to three separate Songkran "lunches" at 9:30 am, which means you don't have to eat again until 6. One of them was followed by a couple of hours of waterfights with the hostess's three kids, and then riding through the Mon area of town on the back of a ute equipped with two large barrels of water and about 10 water pistols between 4 of us (the only time weapons are acceptable in an MSF vehicle!). Groups of people stand at the side of the road ready to attack anyone who passes nearby and were especially excited to attack a group of "ingkloi" who fought back! I did get my hair involuntarily shampooed, but otherwise we managed to give as good as we got.

The rest of our break has been spent on a raft-house in the middle of the lake, swimming, zipping around the lake to various restaurants and the (usually submerged) Old Temple, and generally doing nothing. We've had a few issues after a big storm took out the power for 24 hours (lots of frantically packing vaccines into cool boxes and back again into the fridge) but otherwise it's been wonderfully relaxing. The new doctor, Sophie, has arrived, so once Violaine leaves next week it'll be the three of us (Sophie, Christian & me) from here to September.

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