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There is little less than 48 hours before our adventure in Myanmar. In a few short days we will be in a new world where we want to explore and experience. Even though a month might seem like a long time now, we can assure you that the time will fly by once we land in Yangon. We think it would be great for you to read through a few articles to help jumpstart your understanding of Myanmar and familiarize with it before we are entering into the dynamic, beautiful and complex reality of actually being there.

Introduction Yaks: If you haven’t already posted a short intro of yourself please introduce yourself on the Yak board in this week. Post your name, photo, a little bit about yourself and why you decided to join to Myanmar summer program. It is important to familiarize yourself with the yak board. You can be creative, poetic and expressive if that works for you or you or feel free to post a picture or two and a quick bio. The Yak board is the platform we use to communicate with your family members and friends while we are in Myanmar.

Familiarize yourself with a map of Myanmar: Do a little bit research about the places posted on the itinerary and familiarize yourself with the names of the bigger regions.

Read Posted Article: We posted two article: one is about general development theory. As Myanmar is opening up more and more to the world, she is at the junction of deciding which way to enter in the bigger world. Myanmar is a place of beautiful and cherished traditions but also a place rapidly adopting more modern culture. Myanmar, wedged between two massive and rapidly developing countries (China and India), is being asked to decide between “longyi” or jeans. Many people face this dilemma everyday and must choose between traditional culture and modernity. Myanmar is facing pressure from  conservative inward looking leaders, freedom fighters, activists and people with vested interest in maintaining the status quo that has ruled the country for more than 50 years. Myanmar is at the most crucial time to witness her confusion, evolution and transformation. Any decision Myanmar makes now will certainly affect her path to the future. Therefore, it is important to read the articles and start thinking about how the rest of the world views Myanmar and how development looks both in your home country and abroad.

Democracy and Development on own your perspective: After reading the articles, you are asked to reflect on how would you define democracy and development. In your own words, what is the ideal democratic country, what does development look like in your ideal world, and where, if at all, do traditions and culture have a place? Please write the reflection essay no more than two paragraphs and post it on the yak board. We will discuss about this topic while we are in Myanmar.

If any questions pop up which will be good for everyone to think about, feel free to post it. Fruitful discussions always arise from critical questions.

If you have any questions do not hesitate to shoot an email to any of the instructors.

Looking forward to an exciting journey together.

Myanmar Instructor Team

Ei Shwe Sin, Micah, Siang

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