Baci like there's no tomorrow

I wrote in my previous post about how the main perk of this job is the people I've crossed paths with. That's entirely accurate. So, when we had the chance to celebrate some of those people with a traditional Lao Baci ceremony, I was thrilled! 

I've never been to a Baci before, only the feast that takes place after the actual ceremony. It's almost a running joke here. Tara, the Baci rookie. This time, I was not only able to make it to the ceremony, I helped prepare for it.

A Baci ceremony is had in celebration of important life events! The owner of the house that we live in was hosting a Baci for her daughter's birthday and generously invited us to make it a joint Baci as a way to say goodbye to Dora, who is heading back to her home in Brazil on Monday {boooo}. 

A village elder comes and chants behind a table covered in food, Marigold flowers, and white strings. Once the elder is finished chanting and blessing those in attendance, each person ties one of the white strings around the wrist of those they wish to bless. You can say the blessing out loud to the person or in your head if you prefer. 

I'm a big fan of the 'say what you need to say out loud' method post-London, so naturally I decided each person needed to hear my blessing with their own ears. 

Getting to "bless" Dora before she leaves for Brazil was especially touching for me. And, yes, I am moved by just about everything and much too sentimental. Still, hearing Dora wish me luck in love and life and with the project here in Laos was special. Getting to reciprocate that with hopes of good health, safe travels, and many blessings was the perfect way to say good-bye {if there could be a perfect way to say goodbye to someone as wonderful as Dora, which there is not}. 

Dora, you are actual sunshine. The moments we've shared in Laos over the last three months have been some I will always cherish. Girls' nights spent watching Vikings and eating chocolate in your bed while blasting the fan. You teaching me to french braid my hair. Wine at Books and Tea. I could not have figured out my new life here without you, and for that, I am so indebted to you. 

The night finished with massive quantities of Lao food served buffet style, karaoke, and Lao line dancing in KK's beautiful backyard. After stuffing myself with chili jeow and sticky rice, I tucked in close to my people and Baci'd like there was no tomorrow. 

Luckily, there was a tomorrow and even though it brought me one day closer to Dora's departure, it also brought me one day closer to my trip to Hong Kong and Hanoi with Touk!