Happenings by their very nature defy definition. Yet if I was to try it would be a mixture of something random yet purposeful; unexpected yet perfect.
I really like being open to the type of random events that invariably lead to connection. Today we had such a happening.
We decided to go to an advertised antiques sale. Not really because there is any room in our bags or lives for antiques. And certainly not because it would be useful for the project. Rather because it caught my interest. For some reason the advertisement intrigued me.
We find ourselves knocking on the door at an inner city residential ward. I start laughing when I recognise the antipodean vowels of an Australian sister. As it happens she is an International humanitarian worker in the process of returning to her country. As such she is selling books and tapestries and beautiful artefacts accumulated whilst living many years abroad. It is interesting to see the inside of a Yangon apartment.
We begin to share stories when suddenly a voice says; ‘Are you Pushpa’s fellows?’
We look over to see a slender brunette woman holding some lovely scarves. Now you all know that Pushpa is the Director of this program, right?
We start laughing. It seems that it is todays happening to meet Susan who is the Yangon Director- Program Implementation for; Save the Children. She is so disappointed with the news that Pushpa is no longer visiting her for dinner tomorrow night. Greetings are shared and we will meet with her when we come back to Yangon after our journey north into the villages with Action Aid.
Happenings, I really like them. Of course, there have been other happenings also.
One evening a smiling Buddhist Abbott invited me to meet everyone at his monastery. It was wonderful to view the special stupa at the top of the five story monastery at sunset. I enjoyed sharing tea and spending time with the young novices.

Here is a small pic of the main Shwedagon Pagoda where we met. The women are sweeping the marble pavement clean.

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The following day I joined the English language class where the Abbott was a student. There were several foreigners who had all been invited to practice English speaking with students. English was spoken with an American, French and Kiwi accent that morning.
In our group we were lucky that we could move from, ‘hello how are you’, ‘what’s your name’ and ‘are you single?’ The group absolutely loved it when we branched into Maori language from Aotearoa New Zealand. The Maori words; aroha/ love, karakia/ prayer; waiata/ song; kapai/ good and many others catapulted our conversation into all sorts of interesting areas. For two hours we shared ideas about women’s empowerment from Action Aids training material. We practiced various meditation techniques and the monk and I shared understandings about Buddhist dharma.
And whilst this photo doesn’t show it there was a lot of laughter….I promise!

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