During the course of their stay, Dooley, Rhine, and Davis became part of the village community. They were invited to special dinners as a "thank you" for treating a patient. In appreciation for the men saving his life, one patient invited the three to dinner.
One important community celebration,
the baci celebration, was held for a variety of reasons including births,
holidays, weddings, getting over a severe sickness, the return of a soldier,
or to express appreciation. Many baci celebrations were held for Dooley,
Rhine, and Davis. The ceremonies were held at the home of the villagers,
at the house where Dooley, Rhine, and Davis stayed, or at the hospital.
During the baci, everyone sat together,
Buddhist priests read and chanted to invite the deities and the lost souls
to the ceremony. Then one person would tie a string onto the arm of the
person or people for whom the celebration was held to show friendship
and to wish them happiness, health, many children, strength, etc. Eventually,
everyone had strings tied to their wrists and well wishes given to them.
These strings had to be left on until they fell off, otherwise the good
wish would not come true. Sometimes the people would later give Dooley,
Rhine, and Davis metal bracelets after the strings wore off in order for
them to remember the good wishes.
After the string tying, the villagers offered gifts such as rice, chicken, sugar, and salt. Then everyone ate together, and sometimes additional gifts were given. One gift Rhine received was a hand-made pair of shoes made by one of his patients.