8.31.2015

999 Shan Noodles - Our Favorite Restaurant in Yangon

999 Shan Noodle Yangon Myanmar

I've mentioned on here before that I'm not the biggest fan of the Myanmar food but here is the thing - the food changes by region (which is good news for me). The food in Yangon is mainly curries and I don't care for them much but the food up by Inle Lake? I LOVE IT!  

Their most famous dish is called "Shan noodles". It's bowl of noodles and not just any noodles; they are so good! I honestly don't know what makes them so good but they just are. Maybe it is the taste or maybe it is the fact that a big bowl of noodles only costs around $1 but either way it is a win win. 

Lucky for Dave and I there is a famous Shan noodle shop in downtown Yangon. On Trip Advisor it is the 2nd highest rated restaurant in Yangon and it is also highly recommended in the Lonely Planet book. 

999 Shan Noodle is located down this street. I'd never in my lifetime guess that there was an amazing restaurant down this street. 


It's a small restaurant but they do have an upstairs seating area and the building has great AC.


999 means 'lucky' in Myanmar. So I guess this could be called lucky noodle shop. 


You can get different types of noodles but Dave and I always get the sticky Shan noodles; they are thicker and more filling. The noodles can come dry or in a soup and we always get the soup. The broth is packed with flavor and the toppings consist of chicken or pork, green onion, minced peanuts and some tomato flavoring.  


These are spicy pickled veggies that you can add to your soup if you want and there is always a small bowl of super spicy chiles on the table for you to add as much or as a little as you want to your soup. 


This waiter here is what makes the place awesome. He is friendly, will flip chopsticks for you and always makes sure your tea cup is full (unlimited tea comes with the meal). He has a fun sense of humor and him and his team really make the place fun. 


We have taken many of our guests here. We just went with Byron and Becky this past week and we will be going again next week with my parents. Last week all 4 of us ate for I think $11. That is what I call a good deal!


I'm thankful for this fun little restaurant. It's been a highlight for me and one of my favorite places to go in Yangon.

What is your favorite restaurant where you live? What do you order there? 
Does anyone else love a big bowl of Asian noodles? 

8.27.2015

A Tour of My Classroom + A Typical School Day

Today I want to take you on a tour of my classroom and tell you what a typical day looks like for me and the students at school. 

I honestly don't know what a normal school day would look like for a teacher in America because I have never taught there. If you are a teacher in the States you will have to let me know the similarity / differences in our school days. 

I walk to school every morning. It is about a .75 mile walk and by the time I arrive I'm usually sweating buckets. I arrive between 7:45 - 8:00am and there are usually 3-5 students already waiting for me to get there. School doesn't start until 8:30am but the traffic gets so bad that the parents have to come super early in order to miss the traffic.  

My desk usually looks something like the picture below. When I arrive at school I review the daily lessons and get any visuals and paper work ready.


We always start our day off with prayer, calendar time, flashcards and just talking and sharing. This time lasts from 8:30 - 9:10 am.


From 9:10 - 10:15 am the other K4 class comes into our class for combined phonics, music and language development. The classes combine so all the kids can hear a native English speaker (me). There are 31 kids at this time .... aka a lot! 



From 10:15 - 11:45 am we do phonics, writing, numbers, a Bible story and a 'letter of the week'. I must tell you all about Bible. The kids throughout the day are wiggly, giggly, talkative, etc. but when we start telling those Bible stories they are focused in big time on listening. I'm amazed by it! Half of my students come from Buddhist homes so I know they have never heard these stories before. 


Sometimes the power goes out on us! #lifeinMyanmar. I have one battery powered light =). The kids always scream when the power goes out and they cheer super duper loud when it comes back on! Ha ha! 


The kids have lunch and recess for an hour. They then have Myanmar with my co-teacher for an hour. During this hour I go and teach the 7th grade girls Bible. After Myanmar is snack, a review, a fun craft and then they go home!


This picture below is the numbers 1 - 7 in Myanmar. I've been here 9 months and still don't know them.


The kids are in school from 8:30 am - 3:30 pm. It doesn't sound terribly long but for a 4 year old it is really really long!


I have a reward system for my kids too. Each kid has 3 lollipops at the start of every day. If they keep all 3 lollipops their hot air balloon will go up one level. When they reach the top level they get a sticker and eventually a prize. There is a little more to it than that but I'll spare you all the details. Let's just say 4 year olds + plus stickers and prizes = winning!


This is our 'Bible' wall. Every two weeks or so we all learn a new verse about "I AM". It has been good for the kids and really good for me too. I like that the kids are learning about God as I AM at an early age.


AND you should know we have 1 bathroom for 16 kids. Bathroom breaks take a looooong time.


And there you all have it, my friends! A typical day with 16 four year olds. I'm tired by the end of the day but they are worth it! If you have more questions about anything school related let me know in the comments. =)

8.18.2015

A Mini Update - 24 Days of Guests!


Hi friends! How are you? 

I'm just popping in to give you a mini update. Today starts our 24 day streak of having guests!!! To say I am excited is a massive understatement!!!!!!

I'm so thankful and humbled that God has blessed us with visitors this year and I'm thankful that our family and friends are willing to spend the time and money to come and see our lives here. 

I feel like God sends visitors just when we need them. Alisha came to Myanmar around our halfway mark and boy did I need some time with a friend at the halfway point. Tom and Elicia came mid summer and Dave and I were so blessed to have a like minded couple to fellowship and travel with. 

                     


So who is coming now?! 

Well! Dave's sister, Becky, and her husband Byron are arriving today (Wednesday/your Tuesday evening)!! They will be here for a week and we are excited to have them experience school with us and we are looking forward to showing them this beautiful but crazy city called Yangon. 

Next Wednesday, on the 26th, all four of us are heading to Bangkok. We plan to stay with our missionary friends and will do some prison ministry as well as some sight seeing. 

On the 28th my parents arrive into Bangkok!!!!!! I can hardly wait to give my Dad and Mom a super long bear hug!!! 

We will spend time with them there and then they are coming back to Myanmar with us where we will show them school, Yangon and I'm also going to take them to Inle lake as a birthday present from me (because I'm still celebrating.....;) ) 

So the next few weeks will be full! Full of family and fellowship and my heart is already overflowing with joy and gratitude. 

I hope to write and share some when I'm in Bangkok but if I don't get to it I know you all will understand. 

I hope you all are doing well! And I would love to hear how life is for you lately. You can always comment or better yet - shoot me an email, friend! 

Blessings to you! 

8.13.2015

Chaungtha Beach


Last weekend Dave and I had a three day weekend and since we don’t have too much time left in Myanmar we thought we would take advantage of our time and head for the beach.

The beach is only 115 miles but it takes 6-8 hours to get there because of the terrifying, winding / I thought I was going to die roads. We took an overnight bus that left at 9:30pm and arrived at 3:30/4am ish in the morning. Thankfully the resort we stayed at let us check in at 4 in the morning and didn’t charge us for an extra night. That is what I call an extra free night! =)

The beach is very local and I think we counted a total of 5 foreigners, ourselves included. There were 2 restaurants to pick from (other than our resort) and they were super local too. We ate twice at the same place. I have to say the locals in that area were incredibly kind, helpful and friendly. There was a young couple on our bus ride that spoke excellent English and took us under their wing. They helped us figure out bus details, invited us to their ocean view porch to visit and helped us order a local meal of crabs, rice and veggies. They live in Yangon so we are hoping to get together with them again at some point.


We did arrive at 4am so the first thing we did was zonk out. I think I slept maybe 1 hour (if that) on the bus ride because of crazy roads + rain + they would stop and remove tree branches, etc. I was terrified you guys. So rest was a must!

I woke up and roamed around the area a bit and headed straight to see what the beach was like. The first thing I came across was this nice man who made coconut leaf hats. For $1 how could I say no?!

After breakfast Dave and I rode horses, which I LOVED!!!! I had heard you could do this here and I was super excited that it was a real thing! The cost was only $2 a person for a ride.  The owners seemed to really take care of their horses so that was good to see too.


A funny story - there was this guy on a horse and we could tell he didn’t know what he was doing. He was trotting by us and he said , “This is my first time to ride a horse!!!”  We smiled and told him we hope he enjoyed it but you guys, he was not nice to that horse and the horse knew! That horse took off, ran up on a sand mound, the guy fell off, landed on a fence and flopped over into the sand. The guy was fine and the horse ran away. I’m sure they got the horse eventually but Dave and I didn’t feel too bad for that guy and it was quite entertaining to watch the whole ordeal.

After people watching we walked up and down the whole beach. It was neat to see the local life: from kids playing on the rocks, to soccer matches, to vendors selling crabs and shrimp. 

To be honest, seeing how the local people lived was really humbling for me. So often I have computers and phones and things and these people had very little but were so happy. 

The kids were bursting with excitement and laughter just to slide around on the rocks, play a little game in the sand and just to laugh together. It was pure and simple joy.


It's harder than it looks people! But this picture of Dave cracks me up =)


I also couldn’t figure out what the locals were doing in the water but I figured out they were collecting ‘ocean snails’ to cook and eat. Here I was vacationing and they were working so hard to dig for shells with snails in it. They were hard workers. I was impressed.


They also sold fireworks on the beach and Dave and I went out one night and bought a pack of fireworks. I had tears in my eyes; not because of the fireworks but because we bought them from a dad and his son. They were waiting on the beach and when they saw us they were so excited that we would buy fireworks from them. Dave and the young boy, who was probably 7 or 8, shot the fireworks off together and that little boy was so so excited! We were their first sale of the night and I know they were so thankful for that. I told Dave I wanted to buy a bunch more just to support them.


If I had to sum up this trip I would say it was eye opening and humbling. Seeing how the locals lived put things into perspective for me and I definitely needed that. It’s easy to get consumed with me, me, me. I also thought over and over “I wonder if anyone is living here and sharing the gospel?” and I don’t know you guys. I’m going to have to ask around and see if there are Christians in that area.

Where we stayed: Belle Resort

Dave and I had two on-line options when booking ahead: a super local rattan place with a fan only or this resort. We splurged and booked the resort. It was $75 a night but we did get that free night so I’m saying it was $50 a night. ;)

Now it is rainy season and power is minimal out there so power was only on from 1-3pm daily as well as from 6pm – 3:30am ish. It was cloudy the whole time so it wasn’t too hot. The resort was clean and the staff was incredibly helpful and friendly.

Also, bunnies! They had four rabbits on the premises and I named them: Peter, Paul, Jack and Jill. =)



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