Day 169 – 29.12.2015
Day Trip to Bilu Kyun (Ogre Island)
I will never ever write another blog without saving it first into word. Never ever. EVER.
Last night I was working on the previous two days. The day 167 went through swiftly and I was happy. Then I wrote about day 168, had it all finished and wanted to publish and then the WiFi went off. Not weak. Not slow. I mean off. So no way of knowing if WordPress saved it before or not. It did. I love WordPress and I hate the WiFi here.
So I got up this morning at 5:40 am to check and to finish everything. No WiFi. The WiFi gets switched off at night and I had to wait another 30 minutes before the house owner switched it back on. When it was on, I couldn’t connect. This is so frustrating. Now it is 6:53 am I earned a few more mosquito bites and I still can’t connect and check if it was saved or not. I am annoyed. Laos was bad but Myanmar is definitely worse for WiFi. Let’s hope the rest of the day will be better than its beginning.
It’s now 5:30 pm and still no WiFi 🙁
We had a nice day today. Our day on Ogre Island was a bit like a “Kaffeefahrt”, which means you are visiting local businesses and are shown their products. But I think I always have a choice. I do not need to buy anything. But first we were talking a boat and for 45 minutes saw some beautiful countryside. It was still a bit misty or foggy and the river was all velvety smooth. The local fisher boats were out and we saw them putting their fishing nets out.
When we arrived on the island we took a privately chartered taxi and went around – across the island. There were several stops on the way. We saw some lakes with lotus flowers, woodland, rubber tree plantages, and villages. There is still no electricity on the island. Currently they are using solar panels. But from our boat we could see that they were building some electricity pols.
We stopped at a place where they were weaving on huge old weaving machines. The garn is imported from Thailand and the finished cloths is exported back to Thailand, which means only the labor intense work is done in Myanmar.
Then we went to a pool that was man-made and beautifully located. We just jumped in and had fun for a while.
We stopped at a wood working place, had some tea, ate some homemade biscuits and admired their products. Everything from massage tools, over bracelets, necklaces, ball pens, things to hold the hair up etc. There I bought our family a Buddhist praying 108 beads. My idea is not to use it for praying but to count our blessings. So I am challenging my readers: We are approaching the end of the year. Can you recall 108 blessings you are having? We will attempt it on the 31st December. Just a way of looking back over the year.
We also went to a place where children were making school slates. When we entered the room, all kids stopped working and started to run around and laugh. Something was off. They all had sat quietly and had put four nails into the wooden frame before. No suddenly they were released from duty – just because we were there. The finished product is being send out to all the schools. And children are actually using them. This is like late 20th early 21st century in Europe.
But most interesting was the rubber making place. Natural rubber is collected from the rubber trees that are grown everywhere and mixed with ammonia. It stinksL. Then the mixture is heated and stirred for an hour. When cooled down they mix the colors in which they also import from Thailand. They had green, yellow and red. And then a process begins that can be compared with making a candle. A wooden rod is dipped into the rubber, then into water and back into rubber. This is repeated a couple of times to bring the rubber layer to a good thickness. They are left to dry and then put into a hug oven where they are heated up again. Finally the rubber is removed from the wooden rods and cut into small rings which are thrown into hot water so they separate properly. At the end there is a quality control. It was really interesting and the kids loved it.
And of course we visited the local pagoda, found our birthday-animal and took a good look over the island.
When we had returned we went back to our guesthouse to have a shower. The previous night we had met a French family with their three sons and they had also come on this day trip. So the kids knew each other and wanted to spend a bit more time together. We met up again and went to the local evening market to grab some dinner. The choice was amazing and very colorful. At some point all five kids went back to our guesthouse to play cards which meant us adults let the day come to a gentle end talking, finishing the rice wine from Laos and having a beer together. We thought !!! When we came back to the guesthouse the room was locked and no kids were to be seen. Ups. So we decided to walk back to the evening market but hadn’t really gone 10 meters when we saw all five coming our way. They had wanted to pick us up and must have missed us – I have no idea how, because there is only this one street. Now that we had our kids back 🙂 we could go to bed and sleep. Good night.