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Thursday, 14 October 2010

Jo, Myanmar (Burma) - A field trip to Phongyethung

Greetings from the Delta! Things are going fine here, I am beginning to feel like a local, as I cycle to work each day people call out greetings to me and I am learning how to reply!

Two weeks ago I had a field trip to a village called Phongyethung, the first challenge was to learn how to say it. Don’t even try, it doesn’t sound anything like the English spelling. 

This was a joint visit with another NGO and the purpose was to observe their activities. They are apparently also active in a number of our target villages and we wanted to see what they are doing so we don’t duplicate our work. I was accompanied by our Project Officer. We are beginning to communicate with each other a little better than when we started out. I don’t know whether his English is improving because he has been thrown together with me so much – poor thing, or whether I am getting used to interpreting the heavily accented English translations?  I suspect it is a combination of the two.
Just when I think I can understand what people are telling me something happens to completely throw me.  For instance, I was completely baffled when one of the health officers from the other NGO told me they support the latrines being built in this village by supplying “pannapye” It turns out that they supply “Pan and Pipes”. You can see how difficult this is can’t you? But I am getting the hang of it.

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