Sengphete left Wat Khili in early August 2011 by exchanging his saffron robe for a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. As a layperson, his first concern was to find an inexpensive place to live that was in the vicinity of the university. He found a small room just big enough for a single bed and a small dresser. Although there isn’t a kitchen and the toilet is outside, he is happy with his new home, which he shares in good company with other university students. Panee, his landlady generously offers him the use of her motorcycle that he has learned to ride and which allows Phete greater freedom to discover Luang Prabang.
While living in the monastery, he never had to be concerned with food. The monks receive 2 meals a day from local lay people. Therefore, Phete has had to learn to cook simple Lao dishes on a small gas flame in front of his room and take advantage of the local market for inexpensive dishes that they serve up in small plastic bags to ”take away”.
Phete’s days are spent working at a local guesthouse where he works as a receptionist and helps out in the restaurant when breakfast is served. He apprenticed in August and as of September earns 50SFR a month for 12-hour days.
He completed his final exams at the monk school scoring 87 out of 93 and completed his entrance exams for law school, which he currently awaits for a response. Though his life is quite different, he carries the teaching of Buddhism in his heart and is adapting well to this new way of life.
Message from Sengphete
My life as normal person was very different from life as monk especially how to spend time in every day. When I was a monk I usually spent my time with learning Dhamma and meditate and how to become peace and how to teach people have a good heart and make a good thing. But after I stopping a monk, my heart still live at the temple and would like to do at the same thing but I am so sad that I can do it sometime because I have to work hard and learn how to live at outside world and keep my learning at law school.
I always think that if I don’t have you to help and support me, I won’t have this day because life at outside everything I have to pay.
I got support and help from you so I can find somewhere to live or sleep, have some food to eat every day and have school for study and improve my poor life to good life.
I always feel that you treat me like a son because you give me room and food to me for grow, you shown the light of love on me, you give me hope and future and you give me like air so I can breathe. This is all my feeling to you.