|Mary and Doug took one |
evening to visit the
Shwedagon Pagoda. Started
in 588 BC, it is an amazing site!
One challenge they faced was not having a common language. “Working with a translator for EVERYTHING was a unique experience,” Mary said. The other major challenge they conquered took some creativity and all of their experience (both were originally trained in 1975) to develop a process so the participants could do practice teaching sessions in their native language. This gave them the skill sets to teach skills to others and evaluate new instructors. The participants came from all over Myanmar and many were involved in Disaster Services in their own local regions. The Myanmar Red Cross is now developing the future lifeguarding and water safety programs for these trainers to deliver to their citizens.
When asked about her experience, Mary said, “We did not have time to think about the real impact that this historic training would have for Myanmar. We could only focus on the tasks for each day of training. People have asked, why did I do it? What made it all worthwhile was, after waiting 45 minutes to clear customs at Boston’s Logan Airport, the Customs Official asked, ‘What was your business in Myanmar?’ Once again I told my succinct story. He gathered up my documents, looked at me and said, ‘Thank you! Keep up the good work!’ I am a Red Cross Volunteer, that is what I do!”.
Thumbs up for great skills!