In one week, I’ll be heading to Asia on a trip that will include 10 days in Myanmar. It feels like a fitting time to post these snippets of moments and memories I jotted down as I was sitting in the airport, preparing to leave Asia last June. In May and June of 2015, I spent nearly three weeks in Myanmar as a consultant to Fauna and Flora International to help communities around Indawgyi Lake establish Fish Conservation Zones, or community protected areas for fish. While at the lake for two weeks, I was almost completely off the grid. It was an experience I had approached with much apprehension, yet it ended up being an incredibly unique and liberating time…
There was the time we rode a boat around the lake and watched the birds take flight. The purple swamp hens ran across the algae mats like they were walking on water.
There was the time when the ladies at the meeting tried to marry me off to an eligible older bachelor with 25 acres of rice fields.
There was the time when I taught the restaurant owner the English word for “cucumber.”
There was the time that the whiskey delivery truck got stuck in the mud and everyone came to observe and offer advice.
There was the time when a few fireflies glowed green in the darkness, one and then another.
There was the time when the little baby with a shiny bald head waved at me and blew me a kiss.
There was the time when we walked down the road littered with fallen green mangos after the storm, and firey red ants bit my feet.
There was the time when the ants bit through my plastic bags and Cliff Bar wrapper, and one lucky fat pig got to eat the chocolate chip bar I tossed in the pile outside the guest house.
There was the time the village head joked with the villagers not to fall asleep during the meeting, then proceeded to doze off during my presentation.
There was the time when all the frogs starting singing at night, and one lone frog croaked forlornly.
There was the night after the big rain that insects swarmed the walls at night, turning the guesthouse into an entomological curiosity.
There was the time when two mating dragon flies skimmed right over my face as I floated on the water, never breaking their concentration.
There were so many more special moments and little stories. Thanks to inspiration from Amy West and other courageous creatives, I’m committing to sharing these moments, both past and present, more regularly in this space.