Two things are currently conspiring to put cottage industries in grave danger.
One. The growing obsession of the west for unique goods produced from small cottage industries placing a high demand on small goods producers to figure out ways to make their wares en masse…..which they were never intended to be.
Two. The growing obsession in the East to import western capitalism and big business into their countries. Both to boost the economies and to fit in with their western neighbors.
In the year since I have been back in America, Myanmar has opened a Swensen’s, Yves Rocher, and Pizza Company. Chains are chomping at the bit to get a piece of real estate in this country that is just positioned on the precipice of exploding with change…..
But what about the rich cultural traditions and trades that are imbedded into the national culture. Where will the puppet master go? Or the Tradesmen in Bagan that create such exquisite lacquer ware? Or the Kayin that so delicately weave their threads into works of art….
check out some of the trades that we might be witnessing the extinction of here:
We hope you had a great time celebrating your Mothers last week! It is awesome all the things mothers do, much of which we just never know about until we become parents ourselves.
One of the coolest things about the homes we support in Myanmar are the Mama’s! When a child comes in to one of our homes, they don’t just get the basic amenities that living in a house affords like a roof to keep the rain out and healthy and nutritious meals to help them grow, they get love you your whole life MOMS!
We are continually impressed with the love that pours out of these women. (Don’t worry ‘Dads’ you’ll get your day too!) 🙂
Her children arise and call her blessed! -Proverbs 31:28
This week our guest blogger is MuTu the new Love For Myanmar Intern from Yangon. He is assisting Meagan Henry, Director of Myanmar Ministries Relations, with updating all of our children for 2014 as well as other team functions. He is a welcome ‘in country’ addition to our team and we are so glad he is a part of our mission!
On my way to one of the orphanages, I started to picture how the orphanage was going to look according to what I had heard before about orphanages in Myanmar. When we arrived, it was nothing like I thought. I thought there would be a separate building for orphans to live but instead I saw one big family with many children. And I witnessed why we refer to them as Homes (not Orphanages) at LFM because the environment they live in cannot be referred to anything other than a “Home”.
When I was with the children, I became very curious about their stories and I thought to myself, “No one would actually care about their stories just like every other orphanage in Myanmar”. However, I was wrong once again, since I was told that we were there to update their stories and I was going to help. Now I think their stories are the soul of the Homes. For an instant, I was a bit jealous when I saw them getting more opportunities in some areas than me when I was their age but now I am not. I know they do not deserve anything less than me because of their amazing, inspiring and life changing stories. Thanks to LFM and its donors who ensure all of these opportunities for them.
We treated each other like brothers and sisters and it made me feel incredible. I only wish I could spend more time with them and perhaps play “ChinLone” (Cane Ball) with them again all day long.
A Message to LFM volunteers and friends,
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” –Mahatma Gandhi
I have always believed in this quote and tried to put it into practice but I have only experienced it when I was at the Children’s Homes. I cannot say I have found myself completely yet, but every single minute I spend at the Children Homes, I come closer to finding my “real self”. I hope to stay connected with LFM for a long time to come.