I haven’t been writing because for a while there, I’d been feeling a little sluggish about things again. But whenever I feel like I’m in a rut, a benevolent force in the universe somehow perceives it and always sends me some form of (life) saving grace… like very kind people remembering and celebrating my otherwise meh birthday (growing older didn’t feel nice this year, only mandatory), or an eye- opening business trip to Yangon, Myanmar (Burma). I had the pleasure of learning a great deal of inspiring things during my short three days there from a colleague who’s a Burmese himself.
Just less than a year ago, Myanmar had only begun its turn to a democratic, open society. This was after more than 20 years of being under severe Military rule and the equally bad riots that came with it. It’s no wonder how colonial buildings within Yangon’s town center, its main sewerage drain lines, and most of its public transport systems seem to have been frozen in the time of British rule many years ago. Most of these amenities are still from that era. A common case of the government forgetting about its people’s needs, I guess.
But now things seem to be looking up. There is so much optimism and external support coming into Myanmar this past year, that much development can be expected from the country these next few years. With a whirlwind of new advancements though, comes an old apprehension of losing tradition and culture, as my Burmese friend openly put it. For one of the strongest features this place has is its strong devotion to religion (Buddhism) and custom. Having a direct involvement in literally designing and constructing some of Myanmar’s future forms of living, I am taking it upon myself to keep what heart I’ve found in their culture and weaving that into the modern architectural conveniences of this brave new world.
The universe has been infinitely kind. There has always been, and always will be, a time in one’s life for things to get better.
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