Last week we filled out the visa forms for our upcoming family backpacking adventure to Myanmar. For $35 each we will get the opportunity to explore a mysterious, just opened to the world country in South East Asia. The excitement is starting to build. The girls saw it as ‘adult paperwork’ which means boring stuff. But for Steve and myself, it was something tangible, an action that propelled this trip forward.
However, last night was quite a different story for our four daughters. My brother called and said I had to watch SBS tonight as cook, Luke Nguyen was visiting Myanmar. I decided the girls could stay up a little later than usual and we sat on the couch in our back room waiting to see our first glimpse of a place we would be walking through in just five weeks time. Let’s just say, the excitement of Myanmar is now coming from all of six of us!
Ashley’s comment as we watched the half hour show was, “mum, it’s not looking as bad as you keep telling us”. You see, I’ve been giving them little snippets of information from time to time as we talk about our trip and plan for the heat, maybe the rain and quite surely the lack of infrastructure and western privileges we have grown accustomed to: hot showers, electricity, internet on tap, western-style food, proper roads and did I mention INTERNET?
Even though we successfully backpacked through Vietnam last year for five weeks, I’ve been researching that Myanmar is easily 20 years behind Vietnam. It’s definitely going to need some changing attitudes, a lot of patience at times and an ability to accept whatever comes up or gets in the way. Dacey, our youngest who is 7 years old but turns 8 the day after we depart Melbourne, kept groaning at the food that Luke was cooking. Wandering around the outdoor markets and cooking the traditional dishes of Mohinga or soup snack with ginger, lemon grass and tumeric powder with the cat fish. If I made this dish at home, I’m fairly sure Dacey would run away with fingers clenching her nostrils!
And then, to increase that excitement about Myanmar right here at home, the post woman delivered a box. What was this? And as I started ripping the tape off, I realised what this box had inside it – silicon writs bands! Our fundraising project for Myanmar orphans and children can begin. And here I am alone with all this excitement!
So with only five weeks to go, we will try and raise as much money as possible from selling these wrist bands with the yellow and red colours of Myanmar flag on the band and the green colour used for the written message: Give2MyanmarOrphansInBurma2013. So stay tuned for details
Until then let the excitement continue…