Myanmar, military and mystery - 4
After some initial hiccups, I got a hang of things. My first press release was on Sr Sudha, an Indian Padma Shri winning nun who worked among the rat eating Musahars of Bihar. I also did a story on her for the newsletter which made her very happy and she took copies to take back to her workplace. For my effort,the living saint kissed me in gratitude.
The press bench had two Westerners representing other Christian organisations and a Thai photographer. Being the press earned me a lot of love, respect and attention. Many priests from my home state introduced themselves. All in all, it felt good to be treated with so much love and respect.
Sunday morning was meant for parish visit, and since we mediafolks didnt figure in the list, me and Liezel made good the break to see the golden Shwedagon pagoda and the Khwandage Lake. We also visited the Scott market on that rainy morning for some bargain buys - my prime interest was paintings especially of monks walking to monastery.
The afternoon was the organisation's diamond jubilee celebrations - worship followed by dinner and entertainment - and it was interesting to watch people in their ethnic outfits from different parts of Asia and the Pacific region.
The traditional Burmese food - tea, lunch and dinner - served at the venue was interesting, and not difficult to stomach for a Malloo fed on a diet of rice and hot non vegetarian fare. The preparations differed but it was fun to try new things.
I didnt realise how much I was going to miss my time and the fellowship of that week until I returned. While I was there, initially it had been a little worry and discomfort in leaving the kids behind and V to manage them. They managed pretty well, Vinod cooking or bringing take away and Mira doing the washing up. It was tiring and tough but they passed the test.
I left Yangon on the rain-drenched night of 17th in a half empty flight. The glittering Shwedagon that watches over the city, watched us go.