Photo of the Week
Photo Title


WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 89024
    [post_author] => 19
    [post_date] => 2013-07-22 13:37:45
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-07-22 19:37:45
    [post_content] => Between our silent pilgrimage up and down 2,200 rocky steps to a mountaintop pagoda overrun with monkeys, our leisurely boat trip from Hpa-An to Mawlamyine down the Than Lwin River in all its monsoon fullness, our meeting with an exuberant former political prisoner, and our participation in Martyr's Day - the first time in 30 years that the Myanmar people have been permitted to publicly honor the assassination of liberation hero General Aung San, it's been hard to find time to write an update these last few days. After our cold bucket baths and nightly guest speakers teaching us about the issues, the nights tend to bring an early bedtime as we snuggle up sandwiched between each other and our packs - indeed, our guesthouse rooms are sometimes so small that there is no floor space, only beds from wall to wall to door.

Students are happy, impressively healthy, and we are honored to witness them blossoming and thriving more each day. Their efforts to politely navigate the countless unique and confusing cultural taboos and rules is admirable, and they have excelled at interacting with their local peers, such as Karen students at a community academy or Mon student democratic activists. Because of their ability and willingness to engage and build quick friendships, we feel confident that our course is not only a transformational experience for students themselves, but also an inspiring time for their Myanmar community counterparts who are excited and honored that these American youth have come so far to learn about their lives.

Our group has temporarily split into three: one group at a monastic school, one at an orphanage, and one at a leprosy community/hospital. It's time for us to delve into service projects for the next four days after assessing the situation today. The leprosy group, for example, spent today meeting lepers and witnessing their physical pain and somber living conditions as well as their smiles and clear resilience. After the day's assessment, the students have decided to spend the remaining days serving in one of the ways we know best - by simply bringing light. We'll be making music, creating art, photographing portraits and collecting the life stories of the patients - some of whom have lived in the colony for nearly 50 years.
    [post_title] => Everything is epic lately
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => closed
    [ping_status] => closed
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => everything-is-epic-lately
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2013-07-22 13:37:45
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2013-07-22 19:37:45
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => http://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=89024
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 229
                    [name] => Burma Summer 4-week
                    [slug] => burma-summer-4-week
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 229
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 253
                    [count] => 62
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 12.1
                    [cat_ID] => 229
                    [category_count] => 62
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => Burma Summer 4-week
                    [category_nicename] => burma-summer-4-week
                    [category_parent] => 253
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2013/burma-summer-4-week/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => Burma Summer 4-week
)

Burma Summer 4-week

View post

Everything is epic lately

Jess, Kara, Adrian, Khine Thet Tun,Burma Summer 4-week

Description

Between our silent pilgrimage up and down 2,200 rocky steps to a mountaintop pagoda overrun with monkeys, our leisurely boat trip from Hpa-An to Mawlamyine down the Than Lwin River in all its monsoon fullness, our meeting with an exuberant former political prisoner, and our participation in Martyr’s Day – the first time in 30 […]

Posted On

07/22/13

Author

Jess, Kara, Adrian, Khine Thet Tun

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 88951
    [post_author] => 19
    [post_date] => 2013-07-19 09:34:07
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-07-19 15:34:07
    [post_content] => Culture Shock. This phrase often carries a negative connotation. People look past it as just a "phase" in visiting a new country. During this trip I have come to the idea that culture shock is the essence of being a traveler. Leaving my normal life behind, I've been shocked again and again by the differences of this new life I'm temporarily in. Some of these differences have been really awesome experiences. Three days of trekking allowed me to experience and witness some of the most beautiful landscapes the world has to offer. Four days of home stay revealed a way of life I had never imagined before. Every day has shown me the kindness and hospitality of the people. At the same time, I've also had experiences that I didn't think were so great. I have struggled with the food because it's so much different from the food I'm accustomed to and enjoy. The weather has been hot and the mosquitoes a nuisance. The language and daily customs (like always giving and receiving items with your right hand and taking your shoes off before walking into a room) have even been a lot to adjust to at once. But the point is that whether an experience is good or bad it still makes me aware of this culture, which prior to the trip I had no idea of at all. Traveling is the first step in being able to relate to other people. Those moments of culture shock are my personal experiences and thoughts giving way to those that the people here have. It's a challenge, but we're over halfway through the trip now and I can say that I am much better off for having these experiences. I believe my sense of compassion and understanding of other people is growing every day. Also, my ability to interact and have meaningful communication with people who don't speak English is constantly improving. Although our group's time here is winding down fast, the experiences we have had and are yet to have in the coming week are immeasurable in their value. I can't help but think how this is the opportunity of a lifetime, and I am so blessed to be a part of it.
    [post_title] => Myanmar Culture Shock
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => closed
    [ping_status] => closed
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => myanmar-culture-shock
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2013-07-19 09:34:07
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2013-07-19 15:34:07
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => http://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=88951
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 229
                    [name] => Burma Summer 4-week
                    [slug] => burma-summer-4-week
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 229
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 253
                    [count] => 62
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 12.1
                    [cat_ID] => 229
                    [category_count] => 62
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => Burma Summer 4-week
                    [category_nicename] => burma-summer-4-week
                    [category_parent] => 253
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2013/burma-summer-4-week/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => Burma Summer 4-week
)

Burma Summer 4-week

View post

Myanmar Culture Shock

Nathan Miller,Burma Summer 4-week

Description

Culture Shock. This phrase often carries a negative connotation. People look past it as just a “phase” in visiting a new country. During this trip I have come to the idea that culture shock is the essence of being a traveler. Leaving my normal life behind, I’ve been shocked again and again by the differences […]

Posted On

07/19/13

Author

Nathan Miller

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 128499
    [post_author] => 24
    [post_date] => 2013-07-15 15:10:11
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-07-15 15:10:11
    [post_content] =>  

 

In one of our group discussions, we were introduced to the notion of "being comfortable with being uncomfortable". I think it is fair to say that our ability to tolerate "the uncomfortable" has certainly increased in just two weeks. With each place we have ventured to, each of us were met with comforts as well as discomforts.

 

Our comfort zones were put to the test our first night in Myanmar in Mandalay at the Phaung Daw Oo Monastic School by sleeping on the floor with mosquitos feasting on us, despite the nets that covered the room.

However, I instantly fell in love with the school. With just one step onto the path that runs through the campus, you are immediately swarmed by young children eager to learn your name, where you come from, and your "ambition" – it is impossible to walk anywhere without at least five children trying to hold your hand.

 

Taking a nine hour night bus to Kalaw was a challenge for many of us.

Once we arrived, after a few hours of more sleeping, we split up into teams and had a scavenger hunt. Within these groups of three, we were forced to communicate with natives and navigate Kalaw. At first, the task seemed incredibly challenging as we barely knew the language and we were generally used to depending on our instructors' guiding hands as we wandered through cities. By the end of the day, we gained new confidence in being alone in a foreign location.

 

At our home stays we had the challenge of trying to break the language barrier. Staying in rural Sin Leh, our families' main source of income was agriculture. My sister, a twenty year old teacher at a local school, spoke some English, but not enough to hold a real conversation. At first, the silence was pretty painful. I did not know when to interject, when to offer assistance or when to just sit there.

The silence really never vanished, however as I became accustomed to it, the initial painfulness went away.  The only time I really entered a panic zone was on the last morning when I suddenly became sick and had to excuse myself to vomit in my family's backyard. I could not communicate to them that I had "tossed my cookies" next to their crops, I decided to leave it be and hope that eventually if/when they found it, they would understand.

 

After some time trekking through Shan State and boating through the beautiful Inle Lake, we were reminded once again of the difficult bus ride to Kalaw when we took an eight hour day bus back to Mandalay and then a 13 hour ride to Hpa'an (where I am currently writing to you all). To our surprise, the bus rides were easier, in part because the buses were nicer and air conditioned, but also because we were willing to accept discomfort and realize there was no way around the small seats and the vegetables in large crates behind us.
    [post_title] => Becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => open
    [ping_status] => open
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => becoming-comfortable-with-being-uncomfortable
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2015-11-18 19:01:54
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-11-18 19:01:54
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => http://dragons.site.moxiesozo.net/blog/
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 229
                    [name] => Burma Summer 4-week
                    [slug] => burma-summer-4-week
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 229
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 253
                    [count] => 62
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 12.1
                    [cat_ID] => 229
                    [category_count] => 62
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => Burma Summer 4-week
                    [category_nicename] => burma-summer-4-week
                    [category_parent] => 253
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2013/burma-summer-4-week/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => Burma Summer 4-week
)

Burma Summer 4-week

View post

Becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable

Admissions1,Burma Summer 4-week

Description

    In one of our group discussions, we were introduced to the notion of “being comfortable with being uncomfortable”. I think it is fair to say that our ability to tolerate “the uncomfortable” has certainly increased in just two weeks. With each place we have ventured to, each of us were met with comforts […]

Posted On

07/15/13

Author

Admissions1

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 129587
    [post_author] => 24
    [post_date] => 2013-07-15 15:03:02
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-07-15 15:03:02
    [post_content] =>  

 

At Phaung Daw Oo, the monastic school where we stayed in Mandalay, Nathan and I developed a career in performing arts. I began juggling, and drew a small crowd. When they began dissipating, I got on Nathan's shoulders. We estimate that around 100 people, mostly young students, were watching us when we stopped. I had to politely decline an invitation to juggle in a classroom because we had to go.

 

One of the tasks of our scavenger hunt in Kalaw, the day before we left for our trek, was to take a photo with as large a group as possible. When I saw an armed military convoy stopped outside of the teashop my team (Marina, Becca and I) were out of, I couldn't resist the opportunity. It was a terrible idea (The Burmese military is not an entity to be taken lightly.)This is the picture that we got. (sorry, pics hopefully to follow- couldn't make it through!)

 
    [post_title] => Juggling
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => open
    [ping_status] => open
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => juggling-2
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2015-11-23 23:52:00
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-11-23 23:52:00
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => http://dragons.site.moxiesozo.net/blog/
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 229
                    [name] => Burma Summer 4-week
                    [slug] => burma-summer-4-week
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 229
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 253
                    [count] => 62
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 12.1
                    [cat_ID] => 229
                    [category_count] => 62
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => Burma Summer 4-week
                    [category_nicename] => burma-summer-4-week
                    [category_parent] => 253
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2013/burma-summer-4-week/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => Burma Summer 4-week
)

Burma Summer 4-week

View post

Juggling

Admissions1,Burma Summer 4-week

Description

    At Phaung Daw Oo, the monastic school where we stayed in Mandalay, Nathan and I developed a career in performing arts. I began juggling, and drew a small crowd. When they began dissipating, I got on Nathan’s shoulders. We estimate that around 100 people, mostly young students, were watching us when we stopped. […]

Posted On

07/15/13

Author

Admissions1

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 128487
    [post_author] => 24
    [post_date] => 2013-07-15 11:36:33
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-07-15 11:36:33
    [post_content] =>  

Its unique sociopolitical history, although the source of many violent conflicts and oppression, have allowed traditional values to flourish in an environment almost completely untouched by the Western world.

Sin Le village, where we did a brief homestay, seemed to have virtually no contact with any sort of international community. In fact, the only road (a dirt road) connecting them to the nearest major city was built only a few years ago. This isolation, although it has some obvious negative effects, has resulted in a village with extremely high morals and an evident sense of community unlike anything I've ever witnessed before. Sin Leh, where crops are more important to the local economy than money and where families are willing to feed each other in times of trouble, has almost no similarities with the society I live in back home. At one point during our 7 hour hike through Shan state our instructors asked us to find a place to ourselves where we could sit down and take in our surroundings. I sat down alone near a tree to take in the view, and the only sounds I could hear were a water buffalo's bell and a Shan woman's singing as she walked in between the rice paddies. At that moment I realized that under all the political and religious conflicts, the only things that seem to reach the Western world, lies one of the most beautiful, magnificent countries in the world. Myanmar is an extremely diverse country, something I truly failed to understand until I traveled through 4 ethnic minority areas in just a few days. After experiencing the country for almost 2 weeks we got an introduction to Myanmar history, politics, and current events. It's clear that Myanmar is entering a time of great change, and being here to witness it is very interesting. While, of course, I hope the country progresses both socially and politically, I don't want the people of Myanmar to lose the traditional, nonwestern values that set them apart from the rest of the world. We just arrived in Pa'an this morning (after a 14 hour overnight bus ride) and we'll go to our meditation retreat in a few days. Even though I've been here for almost 2 weeks, I still feel that Myanmar has even more to offer and that I have a lot more to learn.

-Claudia Fernandez
    [post_title] => I've traveled all around the world, but never to a place like Myanmar.
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => open
    [ping_status] => open
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => ive-traveled-all-around-the-world-but-never-to-a-place-like-myanmar
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2015-11-18 18:57:36
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-11-18 18:57:36
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => http://dragons.site.moxiesozo.net/blog/
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 229
                    [name] => Burma Summer 4-week
                    [slug] => burma-summer-4-week
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 229
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 253
                    [count] => 62
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 12.1
                    [cat_ID] => 229
                    [category_count] => 62
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => Burma Summer 4-week
                    [category_nicename] => burma-summer-4-week
                    [category_parent] => 253
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2013/burma-summer-4-week/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => Burma Summer 4-week
)

Burma Summer 4-week

View post

I’ve traveled all around the world, but never to a place like Myanmar.

Admissions1,Burma Summer 4-week

Description

  Its unique sociopolitical history, although the source of many violent conflicts and oppression, have allowed traditional values to flourish in an environment almost completely untouched by the Western world. Sin Le village, where we did a brief homestay, seemed to have virtually no contact with any sort of international community. In fact, the only […]

Posted On

07/15/13

Author

Admissions1

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 128485
    [post_author] => 24
    [post_date] => 2013-07-15 11:32:07
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-07-15 11:32:07
    [post_content] =>  

 

Mingalaba! The greeting we have gotten every morning from the Myanmar people who are the friendliest people I have ever met. Our first two weeks in country have been busy of adventure and widening our "learning zones."

First arriving in Mandalay was a cultural shock. With not a single other foreigner in sight, Mandalay was the perfect way to start our trip, exposing everyone to a place which no one could have pictured in their head. Imagine a city where there are more monks than not, pretty much no western influence except cell phones, and motorbikes numbering an amount larger than imaginable.

 

To me, Mandalay was a place I could not fully understand. I have a lot of trouble understanding how this city is up and thriving while in a time capsule. The monastic school where we stayed was the warmest and most loving environment I have ever been in. When we arrived we were instant celebrities and kids screamed "hello" from every banister, practicing the English which they had memorized in class. The little boys and girls followed us everywhere, asking "what is your name," "what is your ambition?" I found the couple of phrases they knew random and so amusing. For someone who does not always love little kids, I found my heart melting to the child monks and nuns. Our time at Phaung Daw Oo made me aware of the horrible education system the oppressive government administers and requires. The student memorize everything, are taught no context or to question. All day and night the sound coming from class rooms was children just chanting passages over and over, that being the extent of their education. The government controls all the universities and there are very limited majors the government offers, as to not threaten their power.

 

Not only is history tweaked, much information sealed, and the people brainwashed in class, but based on your score on the standardized exam, the government decides what your future occupation will be.

During our trek, we helped to build the teacher house in the village where we were staying. The government does not supply a school to the village and its the village's own responsibility to educate their students. The teachers are brought from far away to educate the students and because teacher salaries are so low, the village needed to ensure a place for the teacher to live.

 

Because of the lack or rule of law and the corrupt system, teachers make a salary barely large enough to live. In classes many teachers are unmotivated to teach to students and hold back information so they can charge to children for extra tutoring so they pass exams. This horrible education system has shocked me. After our trek we came back to Mandalay and met with Nikky Diamond, who is a reform leader. After our political and historical talk with Nikky, I am stating to get a better grasp on this horrible cycle and government control. Because of the oppressive government the education system is messed up and because the kids are brainwashed in school and the education is so limited, there are no tools out there to help the people reform and mobilize in a way to give them better rights.

 

This realization has been hard for me to get around my head. I know that the people here have really limited rights yet every single person I have met since I have arrived have greeted me with a huge smile, warmth and hospitality. My home stay family took me in, fed me as if I was emaciated, and showed me such love even when we had probably a total of 7 phrases to communicate through. The Myanmar people are like no other I have ever met and are teaching me how to slow down, appreciate what I have, and be a more compassionate person.  Many more great stories to come!

 

xx
    [post_title] => Mingalaba!
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => open
    [ping_status] => open
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => mingalaba-2
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2015-11-18 18:54:56
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-11-18 18:54:56
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => http://dragons.site.moxiesozo.net/blog/
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 229
                    [name] => Burma Summer 4-week
                    [slug] => burma-summer-4-week
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 229
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 253
                    [count] => 62
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 12.1
                    [cat_ID] => 229
                    [category_count] => 62
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => Burma Summer 4-week
                    [category_nicename] => burma-summer-4-week
                    [category_parent] => 253
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2013/burma-summer-4-week/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => Burma Summer 4-week
)

Burma Summer 4-week

View post

Mingalaba!

Admissions1,Burma Summer 4-week

Description

    Mingalaba! The greeting we have gotten every morning from the Myanmar people who are the friendliest people I have ever met. Our first two weeks in country have been busy of adventure and widening our “learning zones.” First arriving in Mandalay was a cultural shock. With not a single other foreigner in sight, […]

Posted On

07/15/13

Author

Admissions1

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 128481
    [post_author] => 19
    [post_date] => 2013-07-15 10:28:05
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-07-15 10:28:05
    [post_content] => It has been exactly two weeks and three days since our Dragons group embarked on an adventure to the Golden Land. Two weeks and three days ago, we did not know what would we encounter in Myanmar. Progressively, we dove into the experience. Although it appears to be an easy endeavor, the trail to our goals has its enchanting sights and its uncomfortable situations.

From Mandalay, to Kalaw, to Sin Leh, to Nyaung Shaw, and now in Hpa'an, this country does not seize to impress me! Walking up – or climbing up – the Mandalay Hill has been definitely a highlight of this course that encompasses the experience that all of us are undergoing as individuals exploring ourselves.

Our trip started off much like our visit to Mandalay Hill, nervously full of energy and – in a way – naïvely awaiting our trip to take off from the bottom. While starting to walk up the first few steps, we faced our first struggles in Myanmar and even though now they seem like things we would never worry about, they consumed much of us as we traversed the unknown. Likewise, we helped each other along the way there – taking a step at a time and learning how to cope with any discomfort that would arise. As a result, perseverance became our maxim and every time our adventures became more difficult, we would reach another level of the Hill that was closer to our goal.

Now, basically halfway through the course, we can look back at how far we have come and smile with satisfaction; yet readily acknowledge that we have a long way to go, and we have many more breathe-taking moments to experience and many struggles to encounter. In addition, the amazing view that awaits us at the top of Mandalay Hill will make our trip, struggles, and our joys worthwhile. At the end of the day those moments of intense discomfort become part of the humbling and eye-opening experience that we undertook two weeks and three days ago.
    [post_title] => After two weeks, three days
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => open
    [ping_status] => open
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => after-two-weeks-three-days
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2015-11-18 18:51:55
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-11-18 18:51:55
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => http://dragons.site.moxiesozo.net/blog/
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 229
                    [name] => Burma Summer 4-week
                    [slug] => burma-summer-4-week
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 229
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 253
                    [count] => 62
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 12.1
                    [cat_ID] => 229
                    [category_count] => 62
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => Burma Summer 4-week
                    [category_nicename] => burma-summer-4-week
                    [category_parent] => 253
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2013/burma-summer-4-week/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => Burma Summer 4-week
)

Burma Summer 4-week

View post

After two weeks, three days

Eva Vanek,Burma Summer 4-week

Description

It has been exactly two weeks and three days since our Dragons group embarked on an adventure to the Golden Land. Two weeks and three days ago, we did not know what would we encounter in Myanmar. Progressively, we dove into the experience. Although it appears to be an easy endeavor, the trail to our […]

Posted On

07/15/13

Author

Eva Vanek

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 129563
    [post_author] => 19
    [post_date] => 2013-07-14 10:03:47
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-07-14 10:03:47
    [post_content] => "Faith, trust, and a little pixie dust," that's what I think to myself every time I cross the street here in Myanmar. At first, everything appears chaotic. Motorbikes zoom in all directions, regardless of lanes or even sides of the street. Tractors chug along at reduced speeds, belching black smoke. And then there's me, walking along the side of the road because sidewalks just don't seem to exist here.
Somehow, none of this fazes me. Having lived in Egypt, I like to think I'm used to a little traffic, a little chaos. No, what surprises me ere is the order within the chaos.
Horn sounds are frequent, not because drivers are angry or aggressive, but as a sign of respect before passing another car. As I cross the street, cars slow and swerve around me. Often, people will wave and smile at me. I shout back, Mingalabar! Hello! Everyone is so friendly here.
    [post_title] => Crossing The Street
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => open
    [ping_status] => open
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => crossing-the-street-2
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2015-11-24 17:52:44
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2015-11-24 17:52:44
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => http://dragons.site.moxiesozo.net/blog/
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 229
                    [name] => Burma Summer 4-week
                    [slug] => burma-summer-4-week
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 229
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 253
                    [count] => 62
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 12.1
                    [cat_ID] => 229
                    [category_count] => 62
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => Burma Summer 4-week
                    [category_nicename] => burma-summer-4-week
                    [category_parent] => 253
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2013/burma-summer-4-week/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => Burma Summer 4-week
)

Burma Summer 4-week

View post

Crossing The Street

Eva Vanek,Burma Summer 4-week

Description

“Faith, trust, and a little pixie dust,” that’s what I think to myself every time I cross the street here in Myanmar. At first, everything appears chaotic. Motorbikes zoom in all directions, regardless of lanes or even sides of the street. Tractors chug along at reduced speeds, belching black smoke. And then there’s me, walking […]

Posted On

07/14/13

Author

Eva Vanek

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 88286
    [post_author] => 19
    [post_date] => 2013-07-13 22:49:41
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-07-14 04:49:41
    [post_content] => "Faith, trust, and a little pixie dust," that's what I think to myself every time I cross the street here in Myanmar. At first, everything appears chaotic. Motorbikes zoom in all directions, regardless of lanes or even sides of the street. Tractors chug along at reduced speeds, belching black smoke. And then there's me, walking along the side of the road because sidewalks just don't seem to exist here.

Somehow, none of this fazes me. Having lived in Egypt, I like to think I'm used to a little traffic, a little chaos. No, what surprises me here is the order within the chaos.

Horn sounds are frequent, not because drivers are angry or aggressive, but as a sign of respect before passing another car. As I cross the street, cars slow and swerve around me. Often, people will wave and smile at me. I shout back, Mingalabar! Hello! Everyone is so friendly here.
    [post_title] => Crossing The Street
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => closed
    [ping_status] => open
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => crossing-the-street
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2013-07-13 22:49:41
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2013-07-14 04:49:41
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => http://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=88286
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 229
                    [name] => Burma Summer 4-week
                    [slug] => burma-summer-4-week
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 229
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 253
                    [count] => 62
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 12.1
                    [cat_ID] => 229
                    [category_count] => 62
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => Burma Summer 4-week
                    [category_nicename] => burma-summer-4-week
                    [category_parent] => 253
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2013/burma-summer-4-week/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => Burma Summer 4-week
)

Burma Summer 4-week

View post

Crossing The Street

Rebecca Eder,Burma Summer 4-week

Description

“Faith, trust, and a little pixie dust,” that’s what I think to myself every time I cross the street here in Myanmar. At first, everything appears chaotic. Motorbikes zoom in all directions, regardless of lanes or even sides of the street. Tractors chug along at reduced speeds, belching black smoke. And then there’s me, walking […]

Posted On

07/13/13

Author

Rebecca Eder

WP_Post Object
(
    [ID] => 88244
    [post_author] => 19
    [post_date] => 2013-07-13 12:07:21
    [post_date_gmt] => 2013-07-13 18:07:21
    [post_content] => Friends and family,

Migalaba!

I've been sitting in a internet cafe for 20 minutes trying to load this page, and all that I can say is "T.I.M.", a phrase that our amazing Burmese instructor taught us in order to instill an appreciation for the frustrations that come with traveling in developing countries... This is Myanmar. We've all already come a long way in expanding our comfort zones, from 13 hour bus rides to completely silent meals with our host families, and it's safe to say at this point that the next two weeks will only be an extension of that (my next mission being to make it out of this cafe before the day ends, and get back to my room without being completely drenched by the darkening weather...)

There's something to be said about a country where 135 ethnic groups coexist. The media highlights the spouts of violence that have erupted over the years, but all I've seen are warm people that radiate kindness and hospitality like no people I've encountered before; it is so perfectly natural for the Myanmar people to treat everyone like family, and it's been a drastic change of pace that I am enjoying wholeheartedly and desperately trying to adopt.

But then again how could one not illustrate such characteristics in a country where rolling hills of vibrant grass, speckled with docile cows and water buffalo, dominate the landscape? I've never seen a place so beautiful, so it's only fitting that the people reflect the beauty of the land. Walking from Kalaw through Shan State brought a sheet of serenity over the entire group, leaving me in a state of peace that comes only with the absence of electronics and the ability to actively stand fully in the present. I've never felt so calm and balanced, appreciating every stunning moment while eagerly anticipating the exciting future.

Our days in Sin Lay village were equally as magical as the trek and exceeded any of my expectations; I never would have imagined finding so much solace in hoeing veggies with my host sister and brother, or hiking up the towering hill (I would consider it a small mountain by the amount of sweat that was soaking my clothing only minutes in) that watches over the village and its special people. My days, although long and filled with awkwardly silent meals, were rich with priceless information that came with the uncomfortable experiences- like peeing in the "squatty potty" at 2:00 am with spiders inching towards my face- that made my time there so unique.

Someone summed up our journey thus far perfectly: we've become comfortable with being uncomfortable. I'll never be fully used to the endless mosquitoes and scorching heat, but I can at least confirm my sanity and pleasure to be in a place that tests my limits, forcing to me to grow.
    [post_title] => Peace from Hpa'an
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => closed
    [ping_status] => open
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => peace-from-hpaan
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2013-07-13 12:07:21
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2013-07-13 18:07:21
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => http://wheretherebedragons.com/?p=88244
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => post
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [categories] => Array
        (
            [0] => WP_Term Object
                (
                    [term_id] => 229
                    [name] => Burma Summer 4-week
                    [slug] => burma-summer-4-week
                    [term_group] => 0
                    [term_taxonomy_id] => 229
                    [taxonomy] => category
                    [description] => 
                    [parent] => 253
                    [count] => 62
                    [filter] => raw
                    [term_order] => 12.1
                    [cat_ID] => 229
                    [category_count] => 62
                    [category_description] => 
                    [cat_name] => Burma Summer 4-week
                    [category_nicename] => burma-summer-4-week
                    [category_parent] => 253
                    [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2013/burma-summer-4-week/
                )

        )

    [category_links] => Burma Summer 4-week
)

Burma Summer 4-week

View post

Peace from Hpa’an

Charlotte Rowland,Burma Summer 4-week

Description

Friends and family, Migalaba! I’ve been sitting in a internet cafe for 20 minutes trying to load this page, and all that I can say is “T.I.M.”, a phrase that our amazing Burmese instructor taught us in order to instill an appreciation for the frustrations that come with traveling in developing countries… This is Myanmar. […]

Posted On

07/13/13

Author

Charlotte Rowland

1 2 3 4 7