Surviving Myanmar

This is a short filmed made by two innovative staff members from the summer camp I directed for the past three years. Thank you for the proper send off.

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Where do you find resources about living in Myanmar?

Since the borders to Myanmar were recently opened in 2011, there isn’t a lot of current information about life in Myanmar. Most travel books are outdated and there are very few blogs that are current and applicable to our new life in Yangon. Over the past few months we have collected a list of the best resources out there that are the most up to date!

Books:

Insight Guides, Myanmar

Published in April 2013. This book has fantastic photographs and goes into detail on many different aspects of life in Myanmar.

Published in April 2013. This book has fantastic photographs and goes into detail on many different aspects of life in Myanmar.

The Guardian’s Top 10 Best Books on Burma

Videos:

Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown – Myanmar

Bourdain travels through Myanmar exploring the good, the tasty and the ever-changing culture.

Bourdain travels through Myanmar exploring the good, the tasty and the ever-changing culture.

Myanmar in 4k

Blogs:

Becky In Burma 

Jessica’s Top Tips for Yangon

Websites:

Yangon Life

Myanmore

Mizzima

Go-Myanmar.com

Yangonite

Articles:

As Myanmar reopens, so does its universities

NY Times 36 Hours in Yangon, Myanmar

BBC Myanmar Profile

Language:

Free downloads: Burmese by Ear or Essential Myanmar

Free Online Burmese Lessons

Forums:

Mingalapar

Google Group: Yangon Expat Connection

Did we forget any essential Myamar resources? Add them here!

Let’s Do This!

In March of 2013, my husband Scott (my new husband as of 10 days ago!) and I decided that we were going to wholeheartedly pursue an adventure abroad and professions in international education. In August of 2013 we signed up with a consulting company,  Search Associates and began the emotional roller coaster of searching for the country, school, and positions that felt right.

We submitted 50 applications to international schools in over 40 countries and we landed a total of six interviews.  Preparing for a Skype interview took on a whole new meaning to the interview process. Sweatpants and a fancy button-down became our go-to interview outfit. We found the perfect blank wall in the house and strategically stacked books to lift the laptop to the right height. We got good at this!

Ready for a Skype interview.

Ready for a Skype interview.

Days before we left for the Cambridge Search Associates fair to interview with schools from all over the world, we had a Skype interview with the International School of Myanmar. A place that was as close to our first choice, Thailand as it gets, but a place that was so off our radar that we hadn’t yet considered.

The interview went well, the leadership was strong and the potential seemed limitless. Myanmar isn’t on the radar of most people and hasn’t been for over 50 years. But Myanmar had found us, and in every way this opportunity felt right. To be sure, we had a much needed sushi dinner, lots of sake and developed a long list of pros and cons. I don’t know if it was the sake or leap of faith, but  that night we made the decision to take the offer.

The Dinner That Decided it All.

The Dinner That Decided it All.

We signed a two year contract with ISM. Scott took a Kindergarten position and I took the position of high school counselor. With our hearts full, our spirits bold and our heads held high, we said “let’s do this!”