After a very long bus ride from Yangon to Nyaungshwe , we arrived at 4 o’clock in the morning. After a 10 minute walk we arrived at the hotel. However, only a few rooms were available so we had to “cosy up” and sleep with 4 people in a two person bedroom. After a short but okay night – under the circumstances – we decided to explore a little. Linda was already up early and explored the village by herself. In the middle of the village there was a market which Marijn and Linda visited with Eva, Marc and James after the nice haircut James and Marc got. The hairdressers where really skilled. In the labyrinth of the market we found our classmates Luc, Irene, Pim, Julia, Natasja and Mariëtte. The market was very nice, but a struggle for long people like Marc. On the market there were a lot of children. All children looked at us and when we gave them a big smile they smiled back. Marc even got a few high fives from some, which resulted in some beautiful pictures. We decided to go back to the hotel to enjoy the tasty watermelon we bought at the market. On our way back, we came across Saskia, Lieke and Samantha, who were just having breakfast in a restaurant. Before we ate the watermelon we got our new rooms, so we had to move our luggage, this was done by the staff and we had no chance to say no. When we were settled we went outside to sit at the outside restaurant of the hotel. However, we discovered a problem… We did not have a knife to cut the watermelon. We asked the staff of the restaurant for a knife, we did not get a knife but they also sliced the watermelon and put it on a plate for us. When we finished the half of the watermelon, Saskia, Lieke and Samantha came back from their brunch and market visit. They bought a few pieces of ‘thanaka’ wood. When adding water to this wood it becomes a kind of paint which helps to protect the skin from the sun. After enjoying the lovely watermelon Eva, Marijn, Linda and Lieke went to the village again to search for a supermarket and a bank. However, the bank was already closed. At 17.45 we had a meeting with the supervisors in the hotel, so we had to go for diner early. Saskia, Marijn, Linda, Samantha and Eva went to restaurant Lucky Star to have some diner. Lieke joined some others to get some pizza. Saskia and Samantha recommended this restaurant, because the breakfast was delicious here. We were right on time to meet the supervisors. We went to an education building where we met Peter and Marlo. These two people were going to join us to Kalaw and Loikaw. We had a presentation about the Inlay area and community based and community involved tourism. This presentation was very long and when it was finished most of us went back to the hotel to crawl in bed and get some sleep, since the next day would also be an early start. Saskia, Lieke and Samantha went to a café to get a drink and some pizza with another group, to end this day nicely.
Authors: Lieke, Linda, Marijn, Saskia & Samantha