May 07, 2014

Monks receiving alms (offering of food) , photo by Mark

In Thailand there are more than 300,000 monks and 80,000 novices. The Thai tradition supports laymen to go into a monastery, dress and act as monks, and study while there. The time line is based on threes, staying as a monk for three days, or three weeks, or three months or three years, or example of three weeks and three days. This retreat is expected of all male Thai, rich or poor, and often is scheduled after high school. Such retreat brings honor to the family and blessings (merit) to the young man. Monks must follow 227 rules of conduct; once they are ordained they begin a new life and the past does not count, even if the monk was married.

May 02, 2014

Miniature Rex Rabbit named "Suleman the Magnificent"Brightens Mark's Days
        Mark has corresponded that his girlfriend Ann bought a miniture rex rabbit the size of a baseball. The rabit is described by Mark as having lots of personality and is apparently an extrovert as "he doesn't hide and stays close.
       Mark says that when Suleman "poops" it is the size of half a tic tac. I think Suleman the Magnificent could join Mark in his traveling circus.  Some time ago Mark put his occupation on  Linked in as "taster in Mark's traveling circus." He hasn't been able to figure out how to delete this and put something real under occupation. I rather like the idea of him being in a traveling circus. Sometimes with all our travels it feels like we are in a traveling circus and we are always interested in tasting something good.
        Mark reports he is feeling good even with some health problems that he watches and he paces himself so he can have energy for what he thinks is important to do. A long long time of chemo and radiation does have some residual effects. But wonder of wonders, Mark looks perfectly healthy and handsome as always. He still has a marvelous sense of humor and he gets a lot of enjoyment out of every day.