Once again, like all our previous charity visits to Nyaung Shwe in Myanmar (Burma), we had to face three flights in a row because there are still no direct flights from Europe to Yangon or Mandalay. After a well deserved rest, the day after our arrival, we immediately went to the Sasana orphanage. There weren’t many children around; some were busy for year-end school exams, others watching TV. After a bit of initial shyness, it wasn’t long before they showed us their smiles.
We met the carers that we hired in October 2017. We are very satisfied with the work they have done and continue to do. The dormitories were neat, the clothes of the children clean. With their help we made a list of things to buy; shorts, flip-flops, electric razors, various medicines and 33 more mattresses + 30 more pillows since the number of children has increased from 120 to 150 since our last visit. We also bought enough stationery to support a local summer school to teach English to children.
We requested that the walls of the dormitories were to be painted before the delivery of the 75 bunk beds that would have taken place a few days later. Those walls really needed a nice freshen up with a brighter colour to give a fresher modern and above all clean look.
Whilst the work in the dormitories and the construction of the beds were going on, we decided to treat the children with a school trip. We decided to go by train to Kalaw, a town not far from Nyaungshwe. At 6.30 am we were all ready to go to the nearest train station which was at Shwenyaung.
Some of the children had never left the orphanage, some had never been on a train and others had never even seen a train. The children were very happy and so were we as we were reliving the same emotions we felt on our first school trip.
Many of them, looking out the window, were watching the world out there and enjoying themselves greeting people when travelling through the stations. Others, on the other hand, fell asleep given due to getting up at an ungodly hour. After 3 hours of travel covering only 40 miles, we arrived at our destination, Kalaw station.
After the packed lunch (chicken, rice and vegetables), the children visited the Hnee Paya bamboo pagoda and the Buddhist temple in the Shwe Oo Min Pagoda cave. We all returned in four open vans and made a small stop at the Bawa Than Tha Yar bridge.
On the day of departure, on our way to the airport, we stopped at the orphanage to watch the delivery of the bunk beds and give our last farewell to the children. The children were delighted and we were very proud of ourselves. The emotion in our hearts was so great, accompanied by a thread of sadness for the departure, but one thing is for sure, we will certainly return.
Here below pictures of the dorms from our first visit:
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