Monday, September 29, 2014

Through the Delta and Back

I'm back in Yangon, again at the Savoy Hotel to cool off and recharge before setting out for another remote outpost. This hotel is very nice but caters to the person who wants to "do" Burma but not really experience it. I sat in the bar for a cup of tea, kind of dumbfounded at the women in there dressed up, carrying Prada bags. Where do they go? It's honking, humid chaos outside the hotel walls. I've heard there are some fancy restaurants, but I have no desire to go see foreigners spend the equivalent of one month's wages for a local person on one meal.
Typical bus, Myanmar style

The contrasts are unbelievable. This morning I was loaded into the front seat of the mini-bus, direct for Yangon. No seat belts, which was not too alarming so long as we went slowly along the always-under-construction single lane roads. Once we hit an open stretch, the driver floored it and I looked over to see how fast we were going, but all dials were at zero, broken. I was convinced that if there was an accident, I would be dead. Serious. Decapitated on my ejection through the window of the bus. Perhaps fate intervened when the engine overheated and I had to change to another bus, seated in the middle (severe injuries but not certain death).
This boy was left at the orphanage at only 8 months

It was all worth the chance to visit the orphanage in Myaungmya, a tidy compound of 6 houses holding 14 staff and 61 children. Some of the children came when they were very young, and they clearly have been loved and cared for in this place.  I learned about their policies and procedures and came away with many ideas and insights for Bethel Children's Home.
Baby A, abandoned at 8 days

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