Friday, May 20, 2016

Andrew working in Myanmar in April

Recently I went to Myanmar for a two week project to review the capability of a particular Government Department to cope with a foreign aid project. After doing some preparatory in Vientiane I flew to Yangon for some briefing meetings before I flew back to Nay Pyi Taw (the Capital of Myanmar) to meet with Government project staff.

I stayed in the designated hotel zone where more large scale hotels have been built since our last visits to the country. It is standard to have enormous grounds, a huge reception area, a man-made lake that could support a small community, hotel rooms bigger than some people’s houses – and next to no guests. Although in a ‘isn’t-it-a-small-world’ occurrence I did meet another guest also out on a morning walk who turned out to be from Wellington NZ, doing some advisory work to the Union Government.
 
hilton
The offices and methods of working remain quite paper based – but there are some computer screens in the offices I visited this time.  However wooden desks, wooden chairs and plastic event chairs remain the standard issue.
office
office2
 
The project people I was talking with were enthusiastic with their information and treated me well with tid-bits of food and other special treatment.
 
working
After a number of meetings and discussions I flew back to Yangon for the weekend.  It was interesting to be able to see the amount of change in the city in the two years since I was last there.  The number of vehicles have increased exponentially and traffic jams seem constant now.  And there are new buildings (office and apartment) appearing everywhere.  I would love to know who is funding them.

Being April, the weather was constantly hot, but I did some walking around.  And I was able to catch up with on old NZ mate which was fun and we headed down to 19th Street  for excellent BBQ dining accompanied by some good local beer.
yangon











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