I gave a impromptu talk on Sustainability at this temple to a group of teachers. Ly warmed them up with a game of Hangman (sweeping the nation!). I found their level of English excellent, their enthusiasm through the roof, and they were extremely knowledgeable about the environmental issues surrounding their country. I found it incredibly inspirational. They were also very proactive in searching for solutions. For example, they asked me what else they can use instead of plastic bags and I often refer them to (1) Kauai’s and now O’ahu’s anti- plastic bag bills and (2) cloth bags. Cloth bags are the magic in my life, the spring in my step. Ly concluded the talk by sharing her experience growing up in Vietnam and that they were taught that Vietnam has many resources (so a lack of viewing natural resources as finite). She encouraged these teachers to conserve and preserve their resources in this pivotal time in Myanmar. Ly is great because she has a better understanding of the place Myanmar is now and it’s future because Myanmar is where Vietnam was about 20 years ago. I know what she said really resounded with me and I can imagine it resounded more with the Burmese.
Also, this temple has just moved away from a traditional style of teaching and is incorporating problem based learning with an emphasis on getting rid of a hierarchical system. In the near future, they will also implement placed based learning methods. I was super impressed with how progressive this temple was! Also, it has a whooping 900 students, which is no small number for a rural school!!!