General Update

You’ve probably just seen the transportation post I wrote, but I wanted to provide a more general update on things going on.

Work

This is probably the most pressing item and something that is on your minds as well.

Here’s a quick rundown:

  1. Joyable, online mental health (San Francisco, CA)
    • Dinged after the data analysis round.
  2. Searchfunder, online crowdsourcing platform for small/mid-sized businesses in the U.S. (Portland, OR)
    • Option to work with a couple of my business school classmates on a start-up.
  3. Anthem Asia, venture capital fund (Yangon)
    • Meeting pending to learn more.
  4. Local start-up, social business to empower the marginalized in Myanmar (Yangon)
    • Active conversations with a potential co-founder.
  5. Yovel, social business for North Korean resettlement (Seoul, Korea)
    •  Option to work with a friend in Seoul on a young business

For #4, a potential concept is a way to standardize low-skill processes that could be taught to the marginalized here in Yangon and provided as a service to ex-pats (e.g. this is a company in India with a similar concept: Zimmber). Not immediately drawn to the other options as of now (#5 could be cool but would be a drastic and high-risk shift). My visa expires Nov. 9th, so I need to figure out a way to get a visa renewal until Dec. 21st, which is the general deadline I’m giving myself to figure out next steps (its when I fly back to the U.S. for the Christmas/New Year holidays).

Food

Quick update that I’m still eating well, and have not been getting sick. I’ve done some Korean cooking, with the help of a Korean-American friend who lives here in Yangon, which has been great.

The first two pictures are of Korean tofu stew (sundubu) and the second two of are Korean-style pancakes.

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Here’s is part of a menu from a restaurant I went to the other day with a few friends (two of them had birthday). Kachin is a ethnic minority in northeastern Myanmar. Here’s more info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kachin_State.

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Activities

Today, with a friend, I visited the Logos Hope, which claims to be the largest floating book store in the world. It has been docked at a harbor in Yangon. It is operated by a German Christian charitable organization and has a clear Christian influence. The boat was quite large, but I was underwhelmed by the bookstore, which was comparatively small. It was so impressive though to see the sheer number of people there.

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Elections

Just a quick note on elections to finish up this post. Elections are approaching (about a month away), and there is more of a campaigning presence these days. Most notably, I’ve been seeing many flags in Yangon supporting the NLD (National League for Democracy), represented by Aung San Suu Kyi.

I just took the below picture today which shows a poster of Bogyoke (General) Aung San, who is Aung San Suu Kyi’s father and who was assassinated in 1947 by political rivals (prior to the 1962 coup that led to the subsequent military rule for the next 50 years — and the more recent reform processes that have been taking place). (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myanmar)

Note: You can also see an advertisement for Ooredoo in the foreground, which is one of the two private mobile operations (the other being Telenor) in addition to the government operator (MPT). I believe that green wall is actually part of a huge advertisement on the side of a building for Sunkist.

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