This morning, the whole group enjoyed a fulfilling breakfast with banana pancakes, fresh mango and pineapple juice. Although some were leaving their mango’s to be enjoyed by fruit flies, most of us ate them with pleasure.While our group was still sitting at the breakfast table thinking about our boat adventure in a thunderstorm which happened yesterday, others were in a hurry to be in time for the two mini-vans to pick them up. At half past 9, we were standing at the side walk ready to wave them off. The “goodbyes” were of course very emotional, especially for the couple among us which had to split up at this point. At 10 o’clock both mini-vans left to Loikaw, which would take approximately 5 hours to arrive.

Meanwhile, just before the departure of the mini-vans, we were intrigued by a Burmese man who told us about a green snake which was crawling in the tree above us. Because the mini-vans didn’t depart on time and were still waiting, we were searching for snakes too.

Afterwards, the man found a thin green branch which apparently was a snake and tried to point it out to us and the others in the van. Because it looked like a tree branch, this was very difficult to see. That was definitely an excitement of seeing a snake!

Afterwards, more backpacks were brought upfront to the check out area from the Remember Inn Hotel. Another group was about to leave towards their research location. At half past 12, the next mini-van arrived and the next group left for Kalaw. For them, the travel time was approximately 1,5 hours.

At this point it became clear to everyone that the real research work would start from now on! Our group will stay 2 days longer in Nyaung Shwe and than we will be heading off to Kalaw and Pindaya. We all waited a very long time for this, with months of preparation. We wish every group the best of luck, also with the stakeholder meeting and hope to see everyone safe and sound again at Yangon Airport!

Lots of love,

Authors: Anne, Mila, Robin, Sabine, Judith