Volunteer Accommodation in Myanmar
Volunteering in Myanmar gives you the opportunity to have a positive impact on people’s lives. While helping disadvantaged communities, volunteers are put in places and situations that test their patience on a daily basis. Despite the difficulties that come with volunteering in a foreign country, volunteers form bonds and make memories that last a lifetime. While making these memories, you may be staying in accommodations that are less modern than what you are used to back home.
Lack of Modern Comforts
Simply put, Myanmar is a less developed nation that most western countries. The capital city of Yangoon has some modern hotels and guesthouses, but local people live and work in a much different atmosphere. Moreover, communities that lie outside of the city in more rural areas are much more simple. When helping these communities in whatever capacity, volunteers must be able to live in accommodations that may lack certain modern amenities.
Myanmar is hot most of the year. Many places in the country, especially the rural areas where volunteers are needed most, do not have air conditioning. Instead, most rooms have fans to keep you cool during the hot hours of the day. Drinking lots of water is another good way to keep cool and hydrated. Showers may or may not have a hot water attachment but taking a quick shower is a great way to beat the heat.
When helping communities in rural areas in Myanmar, Internet may be slow or non-existent. There will be ways you can keep in touch with friends and family through the Internet but don’t expect to have 3G all of the time. Things run a little bit slower in rural Myanmar and volunteers who can accept the lack of modern amenities and thrive despite the conditions will be better suited to helping the people of Myanmar. Learning to go with the flow and accepting whatever come at you with a gracious heart is crucial to being a helpful and a contributing volunteer in Myanmar.
Making Do With What’s Available
When volunteering in Myanmar, you may have to be thrifty with what’s available wherever you find yourself working. Many modern comforts simply are unavailable and the best volunteers are the ones who take this challenge and make do with what is available at the work sites. Volunteer teaching is a great example of this.
Many schools in rural Myanmar lack resources that are commonplace in more developed countries. When you make a lesson plan that calls for a whiteboard and you arrive to find the classroom doesn’t have a whiteboard, you may have to alter your plans on the fly in order to get the lesson done. This is just an example but volunteers who can think quickly on their feet and get the job done despite lacking resources make the most effective workers.
Enjoying the Local Food
Volunteering in Myanmar puts you directly in communities that are very different from your own. When working in Myanmar you will have to get accustom to another way of life. For example, Myanmar has little options as far as western food is concerned, especially outside the big cities. No McDonald’s or Burger Kings in Myanmar, so volunteers must be able to eat and drink like the locals do sometimes.
Luckily, Myanmar has so delicious local cuisine. In fact, due to the many ethnic groups within the country, Myanmar is home to a whole host of flavors and dishes unlike anything you’ve had before. One popular dish is the fermented tealeaf salad with peanuts, tomatoes, papaya, and peppers, which tastes better than the sum of its parts.
Myanmar has been home to strict government control over what you can and can’t say for years now. This is starting to get better throughout the country but for years one of the few things the people of Myanmar could talk about openly and freely was food. Eating is a crucial part of the culture of Myanmar. When volunteering in Myanmar, you will get to see the wide array of food and flavors that the country has to offer and the amazing hospitality that goes along with it.
Getting to Know the Area
Volunteering in Myanmar gives you the chance to see a side of life within the country that tourist and other visitors don’t get to see. Being based in an area with locals puts you in the heart of daily life in Myanmar. Finding and discovering new places and people is part of what makes volunteering so fun. Within a few days you will discover new places to eat and drink. Meeting local people at restaurants and bars may be difficult due to the language barrier but you may be surprised how much fun you can have meeting and hanging out with people in a local, tourist-free area.
Meeting Other Volunteers
Another part of what makes volunteering in Asia so fun and rewarding is the other volunteers you meet while working in another country. Friends for Asia proudly attracts people from all over the world to take part in volunteer projects in countries throughout Southeast Asia.
Meeting and helping local people is why people are drawn to take part in volunteer projects. One thing many volunteers find surprising about their experience volunteering is the relationships they built not only with the local communities they are helping but also the other volunteers working alongside them. Being part of projects that bring people together from multiple countries and cultures for a common purpose is a very rewarding experience. Being q member of a multicultural team that is working directly with less fortunate people gives each participant a sense of accomplishment. By the end of your time volunteering you will have made friendships and memories that you will take home with you. When returning home with these experiences, one can’t help but to see themselves and the others around them differently. After working with such a diverse group of people who share many of the same ideals you can see your place in the global community more clearly.
Volunteers working in Myanmar are met with certain challenges that test you everyday. But these challenges are small in comparison to the rewards volunteers and locals receive. Despite having few imodern comforts, volunteers get an experience unlike any other. Living as the locals do, volunteers get a true sense of what challenges these communities face. Seeing and experiencing these challenges gives you a better understanding of why these communities are in need of help. Lending a hand in these communities while working with locals and other volunteers is sure to bring positive experiences and lifelong memories that you carry with you for the rest of your life.