Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Beauty of Burma

Stepping into Burma is like stepping back in time, if you throw in a few cell phones. Most people still wear traditional clothing and farming is done by hand or with the help of oxen. Horse carts are a regular mode of transportation in rural cities and dust is simply everywhere.

the countryside around Mandalay
This isn't to say that Burmese people don't want to come in to the 21st century, they do! The hindrance is a government which only seems to help a select few. Things are looking a bit better for Burma these days and hopefully soon every Burmese man, woman, and child will be free and living in the democracy they've wanted for years.

street performer with snakes(!) in Mandalay
I've heard the argument that tourists shouldn't go to Burma because supporting the government shouldn't be done in any capacity. This is not what the people of Burma think. They welcome tourists with open hearts and warm smiles. They want us to come and see what it's like there and then maybe we can pressure our governments into pressuring their government to do something good for the people, like step down and let the rightful leaders of the country, those who were rightfully elected by the people, take charge and start working towards a brighter, democratic future.

some of the many temples of Bagan
Politics aside, Burma is a beautiful and truly wonder-ful place. It was heart warming for people to be just as interested in looking at us as we were with looking at them and their way of life. People seemed excited that we were there and were always willing to help us out.

a fallen bloom from a massive flowering tree
Burma was dusty, hot, and everything was rickety but even so, it filled my heart with love. Smiles and good spirits were never far away, even in the toughest of circumstances. Burma is filled with an unfaltering hope and it's inspiring to witness. I'm so glad we were able to go to Burma on this trip and I wish all the people of Burma only the best of happiness and prosperity.

monks crossing a very long teak bridge

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