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Welcome to Michael's blog. Michael Andrew, (aka Michael The Maven) is a freelance producer, photography instructor, tech innovator, and when needed, disaster aid specialist. Disclaimer: Michael is a participant in Bhphoto & Amazon affiliate programs that provides an advertising commission if you purchase through links on this website.


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11.02.11         photography  

Work Life in Shwe Kyin


The day following the festival we were allowed to walk through the market and get some pictures of the villagers selling their goods. It seemed as though they lived humbly and may not have a lot of money, there was plenty of food and goods to be traded. They seemed to be very hard working, industrious people.

This is one of my favorites of the entire trip (Lollipoped!)
Its very common to see children, even entire families riding with men on mopeds. If you have a moped in these areas, consider yourself very well to do!
Another very common site was to see families eating breakfast together....
I was always wondering about these Buddist Monks carrying dishes around. Turns out, each monk collects his daily food in the form of "alms" from supporters. I found this very interesting.
Shwe Kyin had an actual gate to the city. More common way back when, less so today. Obviously.
I was always impressed with the abundance and variety of food!
This is by far the most unusual food item I saw there (nasty!!). Its called "Fish Paste". Essentially all the left over parts from many different kinds of fish, ground up, and then fermented for several weeks. When I first saw and smelled it, I gagged and felt some dry heaves coming on. Jack says "Oh thats good. I like it with rice." I tried not to look at it too long and I shiver now just looking. The stench was overpowering....
So...you think you have a rough job?
We ate breakfast at this cafe. I ate some of these weird looking donuts the young cook was preparing. They were good. (Paintballer-ed!)
Otherwise, this was my typical meal. Jack would supply clean silver ware, cup and drink. I wanted to eat as much interesting food as I could, but I always felt like I was walking in a culinary minefield....just no way of telling what might get me sick, I tried to stay as conservative as possible. I am pleased to say, that I did try several new meals and did not get sick!
Poky had fun getting these rice workers to look at us. He yelled "We are all single bachelors!!"
This guy is a Lotus root farmer. I had lotus root, crunchy like celery, looks like piece of giant honeycomb cereal when prepared.
I shot this guy from at least a half mile away using a 600mm Prime with a 2x Extender. We were convinced he was a beginning fisherman because we couldnt figure out what he was doing....
We were shooting from a temple, so we had to take our shoes off. After I got a bunch of shots, I realized my feet were all wet. I looked around for a broken pipe or something because it wasn't raining, and then I realized I was standing in a puddle of my own sweat! I kid you not it was that hot. Jack was constantly worried about me dehydrating.
The strangest and calmest dog I have ever seen. It was human-like it is behavior and gestures.
I went with the 8-15mm Fisheye Zoom lens and was able to get a Buddist Nun to start laughing. I think she was laughing at me.
She worked at a "leaning budda" temple. I would say after the many, many Pagodas, these are the 2nd most common shrine in Myanmar.
Had lunch at a very nice restaurant. It was $5 each and that is considered big money. If you ever want to retire on a limited budget, you can go really far in Myanmar.

We filled up at this gas station. There was a bunch of young people working there and they were very excited to see foreigners. They laughed at me when I got out of the van to stretch. The girl hiding off to the left covering her face then walked right up to me and said in near perfect english "You are very handsome." She caught me so off guard that I was at a total loss for words.

The next thing I knew they were all standing around me asking to have their picture taken with me. This smaller girl , who was about 4'7", pointed at me and said "So very different.... ." They were all extremely friendly.
Saw many, many kids working as water buffalo drivers. Saw a lot of Yaks too. Jack said they rarely kill cattle to eat it, as they bond with these animals. It would be very similar to wanting to eat your family dog for dinner. Farmers use them instead as horse power to till and do other labor.

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