We sat at the port in Kyauk Phyu waiting for a ferry to take us to our next destination of Myebon, where we were looking forward to visiting the newly built, yet temporary, school on land that has been purchased by our partner, Arakkha Foundation. Before the boat arrived, we had some food in a tea shop. We had chicken and bamboo shoots. It was very salty. There were anchovies with chili that were deep fried and dried. They were very hot and spicy in keeping with local Rakhine tradition.
Van and I are waiting for the boat. Our guide is still in the cafe with a man who seems to be talking about the Rakine flood. He's speaking Burmese, or probably Arakanese actually, the local language here in Rakhine. It seems to be basically the same words but with a very different accent so I don't understand.
A boat just arrived with many people going on and off. Women have rice bags on their heads. I was napping and looking on my phone when a man bent down right behind me to look at my phone. He scared me and I jumped and shouted and woke up Van. A second lady also wanted to look at the phone, but I was ready and showed her. Then she made a thumbs up.
Lots of locals just said hello. I showed them photos of England, as they crowded around, laughing and giggling. I think they were also upset I was wearing pants. Women should wear skirts I suppose as it is more feminine?
The boat is really busy. There were about 300 people on the port jetty waiting. We are sat right at the front because we're special and we paid extra money for such a privilege. We had to leap over the side of the boat using the handrail to stand on. It was like a children's play park. Except wetter if you fall off!!
The driver has a Christmas song as his ringtone. I don't know why. I am sitting quite close to a window, and although I took two motion sickness tablets to be sure, it is a comfort to know that there is an escape route to fresh air nearby.
Arriving in Myebon, we settled at a guesthouse and talked with the family who runs it. They are sweet, and proudly show us their garden filled with banana trees, a shampoo tree (leaves used as shampoo), and other various plants.The family has 2 daughters and 2 sons. The mother is looking for a wife for her son and thinks Van is a wife candidate!
I am not, fortunately.
Her daughters are 15 and 18. The older sister speaks English reasonably well. The younger sister seems very much interested in my skin, hair, and eyes, comparing mine to hers.
There are also many pretty butterflies here. Some are huge. There is a black and white lace one and a huge black and yellow lace one. There are also brown and white smaller ones who look very delicate. Our guide tried to catch one, seeming very amused by the joint look of horror on both Van's and my face! Apparently it was a very common hobby when he was young.
NEH Coordinator and Teacher Trainer