I have officially returned form my trip to the Dry Zone in central Myanmar. The region was called Pokokku. This was an absolutely incredible experience. I have never been so far off grid. One of the villages was over 2 hours (one way) via motorbike (I rode on the back).
Some members of our crew:
Countryside (a more green area of the Dry Zone):
Thar Bone Village (~1.5 hours NE of Pokokku via motorbike):
The goal of our trip was to speak with villagers about rural electricity and better understand their electricity needs/desires.
Here’s someone who was the leader of a village we visited:
There is actually surprisingly high penetration of cheap Chinese solar panels in rural areas:
Here is one of the d.light solar-powered lights that we sell (those sticks are incense that the family makes):
Here I am with a group of villagers in one of their houses. There was quite a group — all very nice. Some quite surprised to see me there. I was told that I was the first foreigner to ask questions to the villagers directly:
This was another person we spoke with, and an ad hoc townhall-style gathering that formed around our interview:
Some of the people here harvest palm sugar. These are probably the freshest palm sugar treats I will ever eat in my life:
I was blessed to have had the opportunity to travel to these villages and meet the people there. In the moment I was focused in on the task at hand, but reflecting back it is almost surreal that I had traveled to these areas and met the people there.