Embark on a week of immersion into the culture and language of Myanmar, the “Golden Land”, in preparation for taking part in your volunteer project. Burmese traditions and customs will be very different from what you are used to and it’s important you learn how to respect them. While teaching you how to do this, the week will also be a wonderful opportunity for you to learn about the local area and meet with fellow participants as you all start off your adventure on a new way of life in a new country.
You will be taken on visits to significant locations in Myanmar’s history and culture and learn about the important elements of the culture, traditions, history and lifestyle. Through a range of activities, you will have memorable experiences to make sure you appreciate your time at the location when you move onto your chosen project. These will include lessons in creating Burmese cuisine; Language lessons to help you learn some useful words and phrases; visits to famous historical landmarks; unique guided trips to locally treasured locations; opportunities to interact with people from the local communities.
The Culture Week is an exciting, and almost essential part of your experience on the volunteer project. If you are able to take part, it will help you to adjust to, and become familiar with, the new location and culture, making your time in Myanmar as enjoyable as possible!
Your first day will begin with a delicious breakfast before you take part in a culture and language lesson to kick start your experience of Myanmar. After lunch you will be taken on a tour of the local area to visit interesting landmarks, local markets and areas of commerce. To end your day, you will enjoy a welcome dinner in the open air.
After breakfast, you’ll be visiting the Mandalay palace, which is a replica of the original but still impressive. Before visiting Mandalay hill, the place that gave the city its name, you will have a break from your sightseeing to eat your lunch outside. At the end of your second day you will have dinner at the accommodation centre and have time to relax in the evening.
Following breakfast at the accommodation centre, you’ll begin your morning visiting the Mingun Temple where you can ring the world’s largest bell which believed to bring you good luck! You’ll then move on to see the Irrawaddy river, running through the centre of Myanmar, it is the most important commercial waterway in the country. Lunch will be taken outside and in the afternoon you will be taught how to create traditional dishes, an activity which will continue into dinner. In the evening you will be taken to the U Bein bridge, a structure built out of teak planks rescued from the teak palace at Amarapura in 1857 when the capital moved to Mandalay.
There are many temples to visit in Myanmar and today you will visit the Golden Temple and Museum in the morning and the Mhamuni Temple in the afternoon. Between the two visits you will enjoy an open air lunch. Before enjoying dinner at the accommodation centre, there will be a discussion about the projects taking place in the area.
Today you will be introduced to your chosen volunteer project with visits in the morning to observe activities at your placement and an opportunity after lunch to make your first working contribution. A meeting to evaluate your week will take place before dinner where you will be able to share your views on the activities and experiences you have had.