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Photo Gallery: Daily Life in Myanmar

While in Myanmar, voyagers recently visited Thanlyin, a village located outside of Yangon. This IMPACT opportunity field program allowed for greater interpersonal interaction with local Burmese people while exploring the market and homes of the village. Voyagers also visited Su Htoo Pan Monastic School and Orphanage where they played with the children, served them lunch, and held a donation ceremony.

Voyagers were able to compare and contrast daily life in this typical Burmese village to their lives at home.¬†Marisa Lanker from¬†Ohio State University¬†observed, “On paper, Thanlyin daily life was not so different from daily life back home. One washes their clothes, bathes, eats meals, and spends time with family. However, the way one goes about these activities contrasted greatly. The U.S. has washing machines and driers, bathtubs and showers, left-over delivery pizza stored in the fridge, and abundant space to spread out from each other. In Thanlyin, clothes are hand-washed and whipped dry, showering involves pouring buckets over a semi-clothed body, home-cooked curry left-overs sit in covered pots until next mealtime, and adult children live a room away from their parents, if that far.”

Wandering amongst monks and the bustle of a busy morning, Rachel Street from James Madison University and Melissa Bak from Westfield State College admired the vendors at the local market, especially the women selling freshly cut flowers.
Jerry Coker from Arizona State University, Rachel Marra from SUNY New Paltz, and Jasmine Williams from Central State University exit one of the homes the voyagers visited while in Thanlyin village (left). Local women generously invited voyagers into their homes (right).
A lone kitten tries to find rest in an empty bedroom. Voyagers noted the absence of mattresses in favor of sleeping mats in the homes that they visited.
Nicholas Minno from Auburn University watches Andrew Nugent from Elon University get thanaka paste applied to his face. Thanaka, made from rubbing bark onto a dampened stone disk, is a traditional cosmetic paste worn by many Burmese people.
Marisa Lanker from Ohio State University watches television and eats fruit with a boy inside of his home in Thanlyin. Brooke Dolega (not pictured) from Florida Atlantic University noted that she was most surprised by the hospitality of the people. “In one of the first houses we were welcomed into, the young son was watching cartoons, and the mother quickly ran to the market and bought us snacks. It was extremely moving, I honestly could not imagine someone from the United States going that far out of their way and spending what little money they had for complete strangers.”
Caitlin Scalzi from West Virginia University Morgantown ducks to pass under a curtain into the main room of a home below a display of graduation photos.
At the Su Htoo Pan Orphanage, Sarah O’Connell (center) from Ashland University explained, “We spent the better part of the early afternoon teaching the kids how to play ‘London Bridge’ and ‘Ring Around the Rosie.’ But when it was time to go in for lunch, one of the little kids took my hand and led me to where they were eating and I couldn’t stop beaming for the rest of the day. There was no need to break a language barrier with these kids and it was just because of that simple gesture.”
Emily Binkowski from Miami University jumps rope with young students near the pagoda in the orphanage’s courtyard.
John Schneider, the voyage psychologist, encourages a young boy to draw in his new notebook.
Amanda Hutchinson from Boston University walks to the lunchroom with new found friends.
Standing in orderly lines, the children said a prayer and sang a song for the voyagers before receiving donations. Elizabeth Hillstrom from Stanford University, Jerry Coker from Arizona State University, and Jeremy Skinner from Azusa Pacific University hand out school supplies and toothbrushes.
A girl holds the donated items she received from the Semester at Sea voyagers (left). Mary Volatile from the University of San Diego made fast friends with a young boy during the thanaka face painting and he spent the entire visit by her side (right).
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