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Kat Marriner : October 29th, 2012

Hello! Welcome to Burma

Nothing shines brighter and is more radiant than the Burmese smile. Nothing feels as welcoming or gives comfort when the going is tough, the road is rough, the heat is intense or the way is unknown. Without a doubt, receiving that smile is the most joyful part of this adventure. We’ve been welcomed before, but I tell you, from the beautiful young girls to the gnarly, beetle-toothed old men, from the grannies crating babies on their hips to the punk-haired, brashy boys, the smile is ever present and genuine. Often it is coupled with a “hello!”, sometimes hearty and strong, sometimes timid and unsure. When the “hello!” works, when we respond, notice, wave, smile in return, the exchange is crackling with good energy. Smiles and laughter cut through cultural divides and language barriers like warm butter. I sing out my own “hello!” or “mingelaba!” and radiate back my joy at being welcomed to Burma.

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