Friday, 28 April 2017

Distributions around Yaye and Mudon

Events of Tuesday 25th April 2017

It was time to say 'goodbye' to our friends at Ko Dut and continue north. We drove to Thanbyuzayat where we stopped at a teashop before continuing to Khaikhami village and the nearby Khaikhami Yele Paya Pagoda, built out into the sea, already thronged with pilgrims by the time we arrived. There are reports on previous visits I've made to this very special pagoda in 2012, with Dr. Hla Tun in 2014 and again in 2015.

Khaikhami Yele Paya - 2017

Following the pagoda visit, we continued to Mudon Drop In Centre where the children were sitting on the floor waiting patiently for our arrival. Doctor Hla Tun talked to the children about our visit and the Distribution we were about to make and, as he often does, asked the children if they remembered seeing me on a previous visit. A remarkable number of hands shot up. The importance of long-term support for these projects, where children need and deserve assistance for a period of years cannot be over-emphasised. It's encouraging that the staff, too, remain the same year after year so these visits become a real meeting of friends.

Distribution at Mudon Drop In Centre.

After the 'Group Shot' outside the Drop In Centre with the children proudly displaying their new uniforms, we were invited to stay for refreshments, after which they kindly presented me with a longyi in a traditional Mon pattern.

A group shot at Mudon

They were keen to measure and fit the longyi so, having taken brief measurements, they set to on one of a number of Singer treadle sewing machines to hem the garment and fit the waist securing tape. On the slim frame of a typical Burmese woman, the simple garment is elegant and hangs well with a straight front 'pleat'. The seamstress was not entirely satisfied with the effect on my overweight frame, so I had to have a second fitting before they were happy. All of this occurred with much happy laughter and my lack of Myanmar language seemed unimportant. I left wearing my now correctly-fitting longyi.

Mudon Drop In Centre - 2017: Longyi adjustments while-you-wait.

One of the local Drop In Centre staff on a moped then led the way for our driver to the next distribution at Ka Ma Wet Drop In Centre.

Ka Mar Wet Drop In Centre: Children waiting patiently for our arrival.

The Distribution proceeded as usual, including what now seemed to have become a regular feature of my being asked to address the children briefly in English, with translation by Doctor Hla Tun.

Ka Ma Wet Drop In Centre.

We then watched the happy children leave. Those from further away bundled onto a converted pick-up truck with seats and a motor-cycle taxi. These two types of vehicle provide the majority of local transport in Myanmar and the number of people who can be crammed aboard is remarkable. I think I counted nine children perched in the 'luggage rack' on the roof of the pick-up and I couldn't see how many inside.

Ka Mar Wet Drop In Centre: The heavily-loaded pick-up converted into taxi departs.

When the motor cycle taxi tried to leave, similarly overloaded, a small tree root across the dirt road in front of the vehicle almost prevented his departure!

Then it was our turn to depart and head for our appointment at Kot Kha Pon Drop In Centre where we repeated the distribution pattern. In some of the areas more prone to rain, folding umbrellas had been specifically requested so the children proudly held these aloft for the group photograph outside the Drop In Centre.

Kot Kha Pon Drop In Centre.

There was time for us to visit the 'Largest Reclining Buddha Image In The World' and the mausoleum of its founder at the Win Sein Taw Ya Pagoda. My visit to this amazing construction in 2012 is described here, then I returned in 2015 (described here and again in 2016 (described here.

The World's Largest Reclining Buddha.

Then we completed the journey to Mawlamyine, where the Doctor had arranged accommodation at the Kaung Myat Hotel.

I was delighted to discover that, apart from air conditioning and a bed with a thick mattress, there was Wi-Fi, so I declined the offer of an evening meal with Doctor Hla Tun and his mother and stayed in my room trying to deal with e-mails, after which I added an update to my blog.

Related Posts on this Website

Next Post describing this trip.
All 2017 Trip posts.

My Pictures

Where necessary, clicking on an image above will display an 'uncropped' view or, alternately, pictures from may be selected, viewed or downloaded, in various sizes, from the albums listed:-
Mudon Drop In Centre.
Ka Mar Wet Drop In Centre.
Kot Kha Pon Drop In Centre.
The World's Largest Reclining Buddha.
Kaung Myat Hotel, Mawlamyine.

All my albums for Burma 2017.

[Photos added and corrections to text: 16-Jul-2017]