I have been in Myanmar for about one month, so I wanted to step back and write my first reflection.

The most apparent realization is that this is a country undergoing tremendous change. On the one hand sewage runs in opened drains, and on the other hand new construction is omnipresent. Roadside restaurants offer meals for $1, whereas the Shangri-Li buffet charges $32.

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Overall, the people here are very nice. Multiple times, when I show the smallest hint of uncertainty or trouble, people have come up asking if I need help. With that said, the income divide is apparent, with low, middle, and upper classes apparent. When I insert myself into the mix, it causes a bit of tension at times.

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As for me, this has been a month of new experiences. Yes, some things have been absolutely incredible (e.g. spending time in the villages, exploring the cityscape, and getting to know my colleagues), but some things have been challenging (e.g. navigating the housing scene, adjusting to a different standard of infrastructure, and syncing into the group at work). Building a social network has also been slower than I had thought.

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At the end of the day, I came here for a reason: to help the poor in this country. I need to keep this at the forefront as I move forward in my Burmese experience.

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