…In which I use a great deal of English to elaborate on learning a little bit of Burmese (Or Myanmar language, if you will. Since the language I am learning is the native tongue of the Burma people group, I will refer to it as Burmese for the remainder of this post. For more on the distinction between Myanmar and Burma, check out this link.)
Language learning is a great way to become childlike.
“Am I ever going to be able to communicate with anyone?”… Continue Reading
A journal of our wintertime
This has been my first tropical winter overseas. While our North American counterparts were donning scarves and hats and trotting out to the Christmas tree farms with hatchets or sledding snowy hills, we have been absorbing an entirely different sort of winter season. Sweet December—this is what the Karen and Burmese Christians call this time of year. And they are right. December and January have been pleasant months filled with cool breezes, 85-degree days and a (slightly more distant) winter sun.… Continue Reading
Dear little one,
Here in Yangon, they call you ka-lei-lei (“kalei” means child, and the extra “lei” means small, or baby). I ate so much watermelon when I first got here that the locals said you must be a boy. Someone saw me eating a whole avocado and asserted that you were going to be a white baby. (Shocking, considering your parentage, eh?) I’ve been told to stay inside night and day, to wear a thick shirt, to stay off my bike (much to the chagrin of the neighbors, I haven’t taken that advice), to avoid anything hot, cold, spicy, or salty.… Continue Reading
Have no fear: we haven’t started accepting sponsorships from outdoor gear companies for our blog. After hearing about the catastrophic events in Nepal, I started thinking about a few items we own and brought here from the US, things that I’d be extra glad to have around in a time of serious shortages. And, given the time of year, and America’s upcoming gifting spree (Father’s Day and graduations), this might give you some helpful ideas for some products that have been tested and tried.… Continue Reading
If you were to join me in our courtyard for some breakfast and tea, you would be treated to the view of a menagerie of humans, animals and wheeled transportation passing by. It could take years to fully describe all the color and activity in this place—American suburbia can’t hold a candle to the color and movement that fill a typical Yangon neighborhood.
Our neighborhood is part of one of Yangon’s largest townships, and is called Mingaladon. We are bordered on the south by the Yangon airport (we can see our street from the air when we fly out of Yangon), and hemmed from the east by the Yangon city train (it’s a three minute walk from our house to the train station).… Continue Reading
On Tuesday, Jim and I will be flying through international airspace, headed for Southeast Asia.
This week has been a long time coming; a slow climax preceded by several years of preparation, small good byes to all the little things that are familiar to me, and accumulating the things I imagine I’ll find necessary in a foreign place (not the least of which is a good supply of Earl Grey tea).
I feel as ready as I will ever be for the unknown things that lie in my path.… Continue Reading
We thought we’d share some of Jim’s photos during his earlier years in the Golden Country. Enjoy!
Fishing Village, May 2006. The rolls resting in the fishing boat are made of bamboo, and are likely going to be brought downriver to be sold in Sittwe.
Mrauk U, 2006. Women going home from filling up their water jugs at the local well. If the jugs are half filled, they are much harder to carry on one’s head, because they will splash around much more.… Continue Reading
We have moved three times within the last year. After receiving the keys to our latest dwelling, we discovered that we would have to move out by the first of September. I had hoped so much that I wouldn’t have to move again before we hopped our flight to Asia this fall. The realization that I will likely start living out of my backpack in September has been challenging for me, because it signals an earlier-than-expected transition to the unknown.
I knew this would be happening eventually.… Continue Reading