Only four days into our Myanmar experience, and already–

A three day stay sleeping in the classrooms of a monastic school and meeting the abbott, a nationally renowned education leader. Acclimating our palates and sampling strange new foods at every meal. A spontaneous rooftop dance party under the setting sun. Pilgrimages to two different hilltop pagodas hundreds of stairs high. Learning to become quiet and still, and taking in the serene settings that surround us. A traditional dinner in the cozy home of a local friend’s warm and welcoming family.

A night bus blasting Burmese karaoke through the wee hours as we wind up the lush green mountains of Shan. Becoming gradually accustomed to odd new takes on toileting. A scavenger hunt around the former British colonial outpost of Kalaw. Students bursting with enthusiasm and excitement for every new activity, grateful for this opportunity to unplug and reconnect.

All is well thus far, and tomorrow morning we head higher into the hills for a week of trekking and home stays. We will be off the grid until July 12, so please don’t expect to hear from us until after that. There is some nervousness amongst students about the week ahead, in regards to the physical and cultural challenges we will encounter. Luckily, the rains are not too heavy at the moment and our local guide (Ko Harri Singh, a Punjabi-Myanmar friend with a wealth of cultural and ecological knowledge) reports that the villagers are eagerly awaiting our arrival. So we anticipate a smooth yet profound adventure.