Preparing for Yangon


I am honored to be selected as a CCS peacebuilder fellow 2014 to Myanmar and have been looking forward to it ever since. This will be my first experience working in the filed and I am very much excited as well as nervous about it. Planning my trip to Yangon, Myanmar, I keep reconsidering whether I am ready for this work. My flights and hotel (for the first few nights) are booked, and if nothing goes wrong, I should be able to obtain my visa in couple of days. With logistical preparation aside, I also keep wondering whether I am emotionally ready for this.

After finishing my intensely enriching first year of graduate study at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy focusing on international security and international conflict resolution and negotiation, I left the lovely city of Boston and went travelling in Europe while visiting my family. I am writing this blog on the plane ride to Bangkok, where I am planning to apply for the visa. Tired but happy to finally travelling back to my home country, I am also worried and stressed. Political situation in Thailand is unstable and unpredictable after the coup de ‘tat on May 22. After the coup, curfew has been placed in many areas of the country. Rumors are flying everywhere and there is an obvious distrust among the divided people throughout the country. Hearing and reading about this got me very frustrated and stressed. I am frustrated because no matter how much I want Thailand to overcome this long-standing political crisis, there is only little, if not nothing at all, I can do. I am frustrated because I feel powerless.

All this got me thinking about the work I will be doing in Myanmar. Realizing how upset I am with the political situation and conflict in Thailand despite the fact that this has very small direct effects on me, I cannot imagine living in a conflict where the stake is as high as one’s survival. Water conflict, in a sense, is not a win-lose conflict because no one can/should lose his/her fundamental right to survive. Peaceful conflict resolution and negotiation seem to be an appropriate way out. With that said, I am very excited about the program and looking forward to sharing stories of the people and my own stories with you. I will do my best in reflecting their living conditions, ways of living and perspectives, and I truly hope that these stories can make a difference. Until next blog!

At thousands of feet above the sea level


Twitter: @wangshuiqing

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