Tuesday, August 10, 2004


Been a while since posting! I have been super busy getting ready for the upcoming events and all, but I have to post 2 more things about my Texas Trip.
This being one of the 2. The other the pics of my sisters family...but those later.
Out in the middle of nowhere, amongst the mesquite trees and dirt, we happened upon this Temple. The red pointed roof poking up to the sky, and it looked so out of place. Of course me and my photographer mind I wanted to get closer so we decided to see if we could get some good pics at the gate. We arrived at the gate and it was open, clearly a sign, and we entered. They had an office and I went in to see if they minded if I took pictures. The office was open, but no one inside. So we ambled towards the temple, hoping to get a shot or 2 before some one yelled at us or chased us off the place. A lady came up and introduced herself, Her name was Vai, she was very friendly and asked us if we wanted to go inside. OMG! YES!!
She gave us a brief history of the place. It has been there 20 years. There are 14 (15) monks who live there and have never been off the property. The community outside is Laotian, Thai and Veitamese. They share in taking care of the monks. The temple started out being a trailer, and they built the building in the pictures you see by hand.
I can't explain the beauty of this place, the artwork and detail is exquisite! I posted 2 of the the artwork inside. It is all hand done and the temple is covered from floor to 20 ft ceiling with these murals. It also houses the largest Budda in North America.
Downstairs the communities children where learning their culture and respect for their elders. One little boy came up to me, he was all curious about us, as us wuth them. She spoke to him in their native tongue, he looked at me, bowed and said hello. WOW..
After our tour Vai invited us back anytime for 6 PM prayers or to come at their New Year celebration (in April). In this day and age of hate, terrorism, etc, they where so open and friendly. Outside the temple when we came out where 2 kids bikes and it seemed such a contrast of old and new. I posted that pic. Also 2 of the monks where working in the yard, one spotting the other who was driving a roller, both monks in their robes. Both monks oblivious to us. They also have a website www.watkeller.com
This was totally awesome and probably my favorite part of the trip. I will go back there and attend prayers.
Vai invited us to come back anytime. I will visit there again and encourage anyone else to go too.

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