Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Yangon (Part 4)

Events of Wednesday, 6th May 2015

Dr. Hla Tun had managed to arrange for us to visit the Freight Marshalling Yard at Mahlwagon and the Diesel Locomotive Depot also at Mahlwagon Emily accompanied us. We were treated with great friendliness and, of course, I enjoyed myself immensely. A more technical description of our visits (with links to pictures) can be found in the post Mahlwagon Marshalling Yard and Diesel Locomotive Shed, Yangon.

A visit to the main Locomotive Works at Insein had been arranged for the afternoon so, when we left Mahlwagon, the Doctor had to drive across Yangon to Insein. On the way, we stopped for a quick lunch of soft white bread, hot milk and yoghurt at a small roadside cafe which is famous for its milk. Certainly, as we consumed our lunch, they were doing a brisk takeaway business, particularly in milk supplied in plastic bags. There is no standard pasteurisation or sterilisation of milk, so a reliable source of supply is essential. A number of stainless steel churns were standing on the pavement and, as I watched, these presumed 'empties' were loaded into a taxi, a dignified gentleman with a beard climbed into the passenger seat and the taxi drove off, I assumed to obtain more milk.

'Milk Bar', Yangon-style.

After our meal, we continued to the Locomotive Works for our afternoon visit. Once again, we were made very welcome and I had a great time trying to grasp all the activities. There's a more technical description of our visit to Insein (with links to pictures) in the post

There was one final piece of business. We drove to the Palae Metta Home which has about 20 orphans, boys and girls over a wide age range. It was built by and now operates in honour of the memory of Isabel and Lawrence Barnett and Bob Jennings. For the last three years, running costs have been met by a German charity. Dr. Hla Tun supports the home as possible and we brought clothing and stationery which was gratefully received.

The boys and girls performed a song for us before we left. There's a short video of the song here. After seeing the video, the 'Back Button' will return you to this post.

Smiling faces at the Palae Metta Home.

Events of Thursday, 6th May 2015

On Thursday, I was picked up from the Strand Hotel at 05:15 to go to Mingalardon Airport for my Qatar Airways flight to Doha where I transited to another Qatar Airways flight to Manchester, England. 'Burma-2015' was quite a trip!

My posts

All my posts on this trip to Myanmar can be found here.

My pictures

The following albums (on Flickr) hold pictures relevant to this post:-

Around Yangon, 2015.
Palae Metta Home, Yangon.

All my albums for this trip (except purely 'technical' ones) can be found here.

[Text and Links amended 31-May-2015]

Yangon (Part 3)

Events of Tuesday, 5th May 2015

I'd been invited to join the team from Pencils for Kids, Inc. distributing backpacks with uniforms/robes and items of stationery at two Nunneries in the Yangon area.

Pencils for Kids, Inc. was founded by Retta Jitner, the current President, in 2007. It operates in Myanmar, Bali and Thailand.

The Doctor, Emily and I met Retta, accompanied by four American ladies from her group, at their hotel the Belmond Governor's Residence. Since they were generally wearing blue polo shirts with the 'Pencils for Kids' logo and white baseball caps also with the 'Pencils for Kids' logo, they looked quite impressive. Doctor Hla Tun was similarly attired but Emily and I were in plain T-shirts with longyi. We travelled in an air conditioned coach with driver, assistant and two local guides. A small pick-up truck with seats followed with the actual items to be distributed.

'Pencils for Kids' team at the Belmond Governor's Residence, Yangon (Retta was taking her own photograph of the group).

Retta at Syriam Nunnery.

In the morning about 200 sets of backpacks (with 'Pencils for Kids' logo), uniforms/robes and items of stationery were distributed at the Syriam Nunnery.

The 'Group Shot'.

After lunch in a private dining room at a nearby restaurant, we drove a little further out of the city to a smaller Nunnery. The approach road was too narrow for the coach so we travelled the last few hundred yards in the pick-up truck.

The young nuns sang for their visitors.

After the presentations, the 'Group Shot'.

The 'Pencils for Kids' team.

The coach drove us all back to Yangon and we said 'good bye' to our friends from 'Pencils for Kids'.

Go to next post on this trip.
All my posts describing this trip to Myanmar can be found here.

My pictures

The following albums (on Flickr) hold pictures relevant to this post:-

'Pencils for Kids' at the Syriam Nunnery, Yangon.
'Pencils for Kids' at a Yangon nunnery.
Around Yangon, 2015.

All my albums for this trip (except purely 'technical' ones) can be found here.

[Text amended and pictures added 31-May-2015]