It’s been three or four weeks since arriving in Yangon, and it’s been a surprisingly busy time. There’s a lot going on with the Wind&Bones project that I run along with Hannah Stevens. We’ve been running a short story course at the Parami Institute, where I worked last year, as well as working with the fabulous educational and social justice organisation Mote Oo on developing new materials for them. Next week we’ll be doing Wind&Bones things in Hpa-An in Karen state, and then in the New Year we’re talking about working with another project up in Kayah state.
In between times, I’ve been getting stuck into Yangon’s rich cultural scene again (puppetry, performance art, live music, literature), and meanwhile working hard on improving my Burmese language, largely because the anthropologist in me is keen to plunge into deeper, richer conversations here. Then, of course, there are the writing projects, and I’m almost ready to get started on the research for the next non-fiction book — about which there will be more news in the coming week or two (lots of behind the scenes conversations with publishers at the moment).
After a year and a bit, it is good to be back. These are difficult times in Myanmar, but it is good to be catching up with old friends and making new friends; and despite all the difficulties, knowing that there are so many talented people here committed to making the world a better place is a cause for hope and for celebration.