Later, back at the guesthouse, I saw how much money I had left and thought about giving it to my friend. I ran into the two women I saw in Mandalay who would not bring the $2 bill, surprised to see me. I was cordial and said I came back to help the boy(who helped me) and his family it was already a clear intent at that point. Knowing that they share everything they have as a family. It seemed so extravagant to use my remaining money on solitary travel, now that I know them and saw what they face everyday. A chance encounter allowed me to wake up, yet again. I could give them 205,000 Kyat (about $250) I had left, asking my friend if this would help when we were talking at a temple. It was then, that he told me his appendix operation used the 115,000 kyat they had saved for a used motorcycle, and he was so happy and grateful. I kept wondering in my head, what if they did not have the money for his operation. Just that afternoon, Mom had to bicycle to a far away village to chop trees for money, he told me when we talking at temple. At no time did he ever give me the impression that they needed money. They were very friendly, void of any requests, and certainly casual in interaction. It would help him when he goes to college which is far from the village they live in, and for his family to get around for work too far for a bicycle. You know they often ride three on a bike.
My last day we went to his father’s old temple where he had ordained, at my friend’s age. It had extensive underground caves to meditate in, some even tiled. It had fallen from popularity as the monks matured, but the whole area is very devout, but I feel that economics dictate that more people had to work or sell to tourists to eat. I would like to ordain there, because it is away from the tourists and could offer me time to develop my Jhanas. We sat on a quiet bench and said our good byes in a relaxed manor knowing I would return to at least see him follow his dreams. We sat down to meditate in the temple to wrap it up, and he gave Thanaka gift he bought. He made the whole trip special with his natural friendliness and made it into a real human experience rather than a photo journey. It really was not a sad goodbye, we both knew that the world just got a little smaller or my family bigger! I have chosen not to show a photo the family out of respect. END