Saturday, February 4, 2012

Back from Burma

I'm back from beautiful Burma!  Also known as Myanmar, it was my first time visiting this exotic, gorgeous, and deeply troubled country.  But things are changing, and there's intense optimism in the air and lots of building and beautification projects going on in the streets.  The big question is whether it is all just a new facade, or real, true and positive changes which will empower the people of Myanmar to reclaim their rich heritage(s). The word heritage has to be plural in the Myanmar context because of the complicated, lovely, but wounded folds and layers of cultural, religious & lingual diversity in this country. There are at least eight major different cultures/nationalities in this land of about 50 million people, and sub-sets of dialects and cultures number into the hundreds. It's an incredible mosaic, and I was only in one city, Yangon, the former capital. Just a few of the hundreds of photos I took:
The view from my room, The Sweet Hotel

workers busy in the streets

I just can't help but smile at this guy

The incredible Shwedagon Paya... those are real people in the foreground... and real gold on the temple.  Is it sacrilegious to say it reminded me of a gold-foil wrapped giant chocolate kiss?

A magical, mystical experience, walking barefoot on the marble floors. The monks are dressed in reds and oranges, the nuns in passionate pink.
And now for the real treasures of Myanmar - the children..

the beauty of grace in old age...

A Burmese bug!

Lovers in the park...

Pastor Martin, at the Hope Education Center, a ministry of the Lutheran Church of Myanmar. Pastor Martin is hoping to raise funds for more permanent facilities for this education center, serving and empowering the children...

Children at Hope Education Center, shepherded by a dedicated young leader.

Eager to learn and grow and become.
  "Do your best to improve your faith. You can do this by adding goodness, understanding, self-control, patience, devotion to God, concern for others, and love."  - 2 Peter 1:5-7


  1. What a life experience. Thinking of you two with fond thoughts...

  2. Fantastic photos, Christa. Everyone would benefit form the experience of travel, so it great that you are sharing it vicariously.