Rae Roams: Ngwe Saung

Last week was one of Myanmar’s biggest holidays: Thadyingut! More on that here. Thadingyut means the end of rainy season, lots of festive lights, and a week off of school. As my close-of-service date approaches, so does a three-month restriction on my ability to travel. I decided to take advantage of that time and go…

Jaun Journals #3: What’s Love Got to Do With It?

There’s a lot of love in the air in North Okkala lately. One of my counterparts had a birthday this week, another one is getting married, and there seem to be a few extra smiles from everyone in general this week. (Separate post about the engagement and wedding coming soon!!!) I have been reflecting the…

Jaun Journals #2: Challenges of Teaching in Myanmar

After a year and a half in country, many of the challenges I faced in the beginning of my service have been solved…or at least I have found ways to cope with them. Many of the things that I have previously written about included topics like mental health, housing, travel, and a little about the…

Jaun Journals #1: What Routine?

There is no foolproof formula for teaching. Especially in Myanmar. Additionally, there’s not a lot of room for routine. There are a few legit – as well as some pretty ridiculous – reasons teachers miss a class or lesson planning session, throwing off an entire day of lessons sometimes.  They are constantly called away by…

Rae and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day (week, month?)

In the Peace Corps community, we throw around the word “resiliency” a lot…but wtf does that word even mean? What does resiliency look like in the Peace Corps context? For my cohort, what does resiliency look like in a Myanmar context? For a volunteer to realize a resilient state comes after a lot of turmoil….

Rae, do you even LIKE teaching?!?

A small collection of thoughts on teaching and why I do it… Today, a student told me they wanted to attend one of the extracurricular classes I teach but that they don’t have enough time. They said, “I’ll come to your class next year!” I had to tell them that I won’t be offering classes…

HAPPINESS DOESN’T EXIST?!?

The theme “life isn’t about finding happiness” has been weaving itself into my life a lot lately. First it was a TedTalk with a similar title about how creating meaning is more important than finding what we think of as happiness. Then the idea came up with friends. Most recently, the idea of happiness was…