I took a walk around my neighbourhood in Thaketa last week, just as the day was nearing its end. There was a pagoda nearby so I checked it out. It’s amazing how strong the influence Buddhism has on everyday Burmese life and culture. I must have passed by three monasteries in the vicinity of the pagoda, as well as countless monks, big and small. The monasteries, I recently learned, provide basic education to a lot of kids who can’t afford to go to regular public school.
In addition to other social contributions, many monks also serve as blood donors to those in need. In September I contracted dengue and needed a transfusion. Only hours after I was informed of this, a monk was standing in my hospital room, wanting to meet the poor guy he was about to help. I was actually interviewed about this experience for Al-Jazeera. You can read it here!
Monk robes out to dry…
Dinner at 19th Street to end the work week. It’s a bustling place with all the barbeque and grilled things you can handle, plus cheap, cheap beer. I am considering moving to downtown Yangon and eating here every night.
All the deep-fried crickets you can handle! They actually weren’t that bad. Think deep-fried shrimp heads.