Saturday, June 9, 2018

Discovering Northwest Myanmar 15 - Katha to Takaung

Crossing the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River once again

It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve last posted here on my blog, and so much has happened in that time!

I’ve got a new love interest. More on that later depending on how it goes.

I had to spend a week in Bangkok when I’d meant to spend a night.  I’d gone for my regular visa run thing, and whllst in Bangkok I managed to lose my passport. Again, more on that story later. 

Back in Yangon. I’m very excited in that today, my company held a press conference announcing a new partnership with the University of Wollongong College (Australia) wherein our campus will be the site of their 1st trimester foundation course; it’s a type of college before college thing. 

UoW is one of the top universities in the world, and this foundation program is a way in for Myanmar students who might not be qualified to enter otherwise. Their first experience in tertiary education will come through Edulink, my company. They’ll be learning mathematics, environmental studies, academic English and sociology, the last being my area speciality and teaching subject.

Yes, I’m going to teach sociology. 

I remember vividly 35 years ago, at the family dinner table, when I said I was interested in studying sociology, how strongly my parents objected to this idea. What could one do with a sociology degree? Completely pointless! I think the words “no child of ours is going to study sociology  were actually uttered. 

They were much more mooted when I actually got to university and completed my BA in sociology with an emphasis on comparative cultures. I also got, while studying in Indonesia, a specialized minor in Southwest Pacific studies which combined courses in Indonesian and Australian topics.Who would have thunk these topics would actually be useful someday? 

Water fun in the Ayeyarwaddy
It’s taken 25 years, and not following any particular plan, but these qualifications (what’re  ya gonna do with a degree in sociology?) are finally paying off. Starting in August, I’m going to be a lecturer in Edulink’s collaboration with the University of Wollongong. I’ll be teaching a course in sociology. It’s going to be what in America would be considered to be a “community college” course, so my lack of an advanced degree isn’t an impediment. I can’t really call myself
“Professor Joko”, but Lecturer Joko? Well, career wise, I feel a bit of pride today.

In the video, we continue our journey south towards Mandalay, to the old town of Takaung, where my hotelier was an 11-year-old boy.

Yeah, I dunno where all the adults had gone, but this kid was my sole interaction with the guesthouse there in Kataung. And it wasn't because he was the only one who spoke English because he didn't. 

When you're paying 5000 Kyats ($4) for the night, ya can't complain. 


  1. I don't remember things in the same way. We wanted you to be able to support yourself and a family if that was your desire. Being older, we had observed so many intelligent young people unable to get work that paid more than minimum or wages based on tips. Liberal arts and the humanities are not known for being a basis of high income jobs without advanced degrees or a law degree. As an artist myself, I knew that if I had been a man I would not have been able to provide much with a teachers salary. You may diss us for wanting you to have good life, but you also know in your heart you were a troubled young man with a substance abuse problem looming. Remember when you said you wanted to study chemistry? We all knew you meant cooking drugs.

  2. I hit publish before I was finished. I am glad you are going to be teaching Sociology. You have taken the hard road to get there, but have also had one hell of a ride. Congratulations

  3. Even though it's not perfect, I'm glad you found somewhere to stay! I must admit that I am truly happy for you, that you enjoy teaching; it is so very important. May God bless you. Lynn

    Saatnya kita semua mulai mencari diri sendiri, nama saya Hussein Anwar dari Surabaya, Indonesia. Namun saat ini tinggal di Kuala Lumpur Malaysia dengan dua daugthers saya.
    Saya ingin menggunakan media ini untuk memberi saran dan mendorong semua orang di sini. Mendapatkan pinjaman online tidak semudah kelihatannya, saya mendapat pinjaman online pertama saya di tahun 2011 setelah saya kehilangan istri saya untungnya bagi saya saya dapat bertemu dengan pembayaran saya dan saya melunasi pinjaman dalam waktu yang tepat. Pada bulan Oktober 2017 saya membutuhkan uang untuk membiayai kembali bisnis saya tetapi saya sudah kehilangan kontak dengan perusahaan yang memberi saya pinjaman. Saya mencoba mencari online tetapi saya akhirnya mempercayai sebuah perusahaan pinjaman tanpa iuran, saya telah kehilangan lebih dari Rp25.000.000 sebelum saya menyadari. Saya mendorong semua orang untuk berhati-hati dan pintar ketika mencari pinjaman online, tanda-tandanya jelas TIDAK, saya ulangi DO tidak mempercayai perusahaan peminjam yang menggunakan domain email gratis seperti. @ .... @ ...... @ atau ...... @ mereka semua palsu. tidak ada perusahaan pinjaman nyata yang menggunakan surat semacam itu.
    Pada bulan Mei 2018, saya mendapat surat dari pos blog dan ketika saya menghubungi saya, saya mendapatkan pinjaman dalam waktu 48 jam setelah menyelesaikan proses verifikasi saya. Terima kasih FINANSIAL GLOBAL ..
    jika Anda memerlukan pinjaman bisnis mendesak atau pinjaman pribadi, Anda dapat menghubungi perwakilan pinjaman saya, seorang wanita yang baik dengan nama Sarah Harvey. Saya yakin sebagian besar dari kita mengenalnya karena dia telah membantu banyak orang dari negara kita.
    TOLONG jangan hubungi dia jika Anda tidak dapat membayar kembali pinjaman Anda atau berniat melarikan diri setelah mendapatkan pinjaman Anda ..
    Terima kasih


  5. Daripada mendapatkan pinjaman, saya mendapatkan kartu kosong di ATM untuk menarik maksimal $ 5.000 setiap hari selama 30 hari. Saya senang tentang itu karena saya mendapatkannya minggu lalu dan saya menggunakannya untuk mendapatkan $ 45.000. Mr Mike memberikan kartu untuk membantu orang miskin dan yang membutuhkan tapi itu ilegal tetapi itu adalah sesuatu yang baik dan dia tidak seperti orang lain yang berpura-pura memiliki kartu ATM kosong. Dan tidak ada yang tertangkap saat menggunakan kartu. Dapatkan Anda darinya saya sepenuhnya merekomendasikan dia. Kirim saja dia email di (

    Situs web:

  6. Apakah Anda tertarik untuk mendapatkan pinjaman? Saya adalah pemberi pinjaman pribadi, saya memberikan pinjaman @ 2% per tahun, saya menawarkan pinjaman mulai dari 10.000 € hingga 950.000 € ....... silakan kembali kepada saya melalui email ( jika Anda tertarik sehingga saya dapat memberikan informasi lebih lanjut tentang syarat dan ketentuan pinjaman kami.

  7. memberikan kepada individu dan perusahaan
    Saya orang yang baik hati yang membantu orang dengan kesulitan keuangan melalui saya
    jasa keuangan. Jadi, jika Anda membutuhkan, Anda dapat menghubungi saya untuk mempelajari lebih lanjut
    kondisi keuangan saya


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