Myanmar has been on my mind. I am indebted to this country alone, so ripe with political strife, for the worldly passion I now possess. Just a year and a half ago, I stepped off the plane in Yangon a naive and lonely American traveler. I learned by observation that the men wear longyi (a long wraparound skirt), the women and youth paint their faces with thanaka (a tree bark powder serving the double function of makeup and sun protection), and most adults chew betel nuts (which leave a red residue on the teeth as seen on the woman in this picture). This is just the external part of Myanmar’s unique culture. During the brief three weeks I was given in Myanmar, I fell in love with the place. I arrived quite ignorant of what life can be like under an oppressive military regime; I left infinitely grateful to have shared my time with these friendly and most generous people.
This gorgeous photo taken by uncorneredmarket (a.k.a. Audrey Scott and Daniel Noll) really captures the spirit of the Burmese people. Audrey and Daniel, who have been traveling the globe for over two years now, offer a nice reflection of their time in Burma here. I too think about Myanmar and its people frequently. Perhaps the two faces in this photograph explain why better than words can.