The Circle Train

In the 1950’s the British colonists built a 50km double railway line around Yangon, and it still serves  100-150,000 commuters daily.  With 39 stops it takes about 3 hours to complete the loop.  For a tourist or outsider it’s not about commuting but provides a wonderful alternative view of the city and it’s people. We boarded at Parami Station, just over a kilometre from my … Continue reading The Circle Train

Myanmar Floods (Pt2.5) Our last observed distribution

Myanmar Floods (Pt2.5) Our last observed distribution

As we left to go back to Yangon we stopped by one last distribution point and watched the food being given to some of the many displaced families. They are happy to have some food (we supplied only 2weeks) to take back to their ruined homes. The next steps, and what we at WFP take very seriously, is to consider what can be done to rehabilitate ruined/destroyed homes and livelihoods… When you’re poor normal life is not something that you or I can comprehend… yet how often do I go through life, especially hard times, with such a smile on my face…?

Continue reading Myanmar Floods (Pt2.5) Our last observed distribution

Myanmar Floods (Pt 2) – 7days, 25000 people, 180MT of food (a tale of an emergency response)

By day 3 (Monday morning the numbers have risen to 57,000 for the district that we’re in… our estimate has risen too.  We finalize this with our office and they dispatch around 180MT (metric tonnes) to us by road.  The local authorities finally agree on a drop off point for the main town, which happens to be one of the first places and an indoor … Continue reading Myanmar Floods (Pt 2) – 7days, 25000 people, 180MT of food (a tale of an emergency response)

Myanmar Floods (Pt. 1.5) Racing Cars, playing in the wake…

Racing Cars, playing in the wake...

Some boys from the IDP camps race the car as we plough through the 3feet deep water to get to the monastery. All over the world kids find joy in seeming misery… something in the innocence of youth that is refreshing when confronted with seemingly insurmountable problems…

Continue reading Myanmar Floods (Pt. 1.5) Racing Cars, playing in the wake…

Myanmar Floods (Pt 1) – 7days, 25000 people, 180MT of food (a tale of an emergency response)

16th August; Thursday afternoon… I get a call from my boss to speak with him in his office.  The matter at hand was an urgent request from the Government of Myanmar to provide emergency food assistance for 47,000 people that had been displaced by widespread flooding in the delta area (south west of the country and in the area south of the capital Yangon) since … Continue reading Myanmar Floods (Pt 1) – 7days, 25000 people, 180MT of food (a tale of an emergency response)

A Conversation with a Monk

At the weekend I took a walk through the Shwedagon Pagoda, the largest in Yangon.  It’s an incredible sight. Swathed in gold, white, green and red.  The massive 326ft high main pagoda rises high above the city and can be seen at night from a large part of the city.  In the pagoda environs there are numerous (but not swarms) of visitors, and foreigners account … Continue reading A Conversation with a Monk

Money, Money Money…

It’s definitely a rich man’s world here. Most people live in relative poverty, as with any developing country but find good stats to indicate it is a little trickier than is clear from the street. But the obvious run down feel of the city hides quite beautiful interiors and very pleasant living conditions, if you’re willing to pay over the odds. Accommodation has, in some … Continue reading Money, Money Money…