28 June 2016

Person of Interest: Novice Sisamone

Last year I had the pleasure to sit down Cornwell Hademu the executive director of BICC/CCDP, the organisation I volunteered with for three months in Zambia at the beginning of last year, and I wrote a blog all about him (click here to read it). In the same vein I am about to begin a multi-part series of interviews with people from Laos and allow them to tell their own interesting stories, here is first one, an interview with a Novice.

This weekend I interviewed Novice Sisamone, one of the Intermediate Novice students that I mentor at the library, all about his life as a Novice. Here is the video and a full transcript of the interview:
What Village are you original from?
My original village is Phonhom village and it is far from Luang Prabang town about five kilometres.

When did you join the temple?
I decided to become a Novice in 2010.

What is your last memory before joining the temple?
That is a very long time ago so I might not remember it exactly, however, I remember that I miss my friends and family very much.

Why did you join the temple?
I joined the temple because when you become a Novice you have more time and opportunities to study and learn new things. You also meet many people who you can study English and Darma with.

Describe your first day in the temple.
My first day in the temple was very hard for me because everything was new and I didn’t know anybody there. After about five to seven days I got used to it and everything was ok for me and I now love it and enjoy being a Novice.

What is your favourite thing about being in the temple?
My favourite thing is chanting and doing meditation. I really like it because when we do it, it makes our minds very peaceful and calm. I also enjoy listening to Darma history.

What do you want to do when you leave the temple?
This answer will change because my opinion now and in the future when I leave the temple might not be the same. My dream for when I leave the temple is to teach others because some of them don’t have the opportunity to learn, that is my dream.

Why did you start studying English?
There are many reasons for this question. Because our country (Laos) is part of the Asean community and I am Lao, I must be able to speak English, even if it’s not perfect, so I can use it to communicate with foreigners, so I can learn and exchange experiences and information with them.

Has studying English changed your life in any way?

Yes, very much. Studying English is very fun and I am very proud that I can speak English a little, even if it is not perfect but I am still very impressed with what I have learnt. I also know many people from different parts of the world and I can ask them any questions about the differences in culture between Laos and their country.

Luke T.

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