Having the day off suddenly, I didn’t have anything planned and decided I should visit my local pagoda and take in the atmosphere. As luck would have it, the Shwedagon Pagoda is a brief 20-minute stroll through the People’s Park from my house. What better pagoda to have as your local for the celebrations.
I heard the trip to Man Aung Island is rough and was a bit concerned what I would do if the ship sunk in the sea.
After an early breakfast at a teacher’s house, we went to the 7 am meeting where the villagers were sitting under the trees near the monastery.
One of teachers from the village frequently phoned me to warn that I should come earlier as the sea waves were bigger in the evening.
When we discussed what my mum wanted to visit in Myanmar, I listed the usual tourist sights: Shwedagon, Bagan, Mandalay, and the Golden Rock teetering on a seemingly gravity-defying point. However, my mother wanted to get a feel for the Myanmar that I knew and worked with. So, we went to Yangon and to Sittwe.
A lot of monks teach in Myanmar; they typically have more education than lay people and they are more able to provide for those less fortunate than themselves. As we have mentioned; this is a country which gives the highest percentage of its income to charity. The charity being the thousands of monks (and to a lesser extent, nuns) in the country.
What counts as ‘correct’ English? Is it that of the BBC or Hollywood? Should it be based on usage or grammar rules? This is an area of intense debate in the English teaching world; something which I don’t think will ever be solved.
With the approach of the new year, I reflect on the immense undertaking of NEH over the past 18 months.
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