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Entries in Shimbweyeng (6)


Rattan Ensō

Six different species of rattan cane rolled up and carefully laid out on the Ledo Road in Shimbweyeng, Kachin State, Myanmar (see Packing Up In Shimbweyeng). Love the different colors and sizes. Reminds me of those Zen circles (ensōs) that symbolize "a moment when the mind is completely spacious and unfettered and true reality is allowed to manifest itself". Which may or may not describe my state of mind in January 2005 after finishing up six weeks of fieldwork in the Hukaung Valley (see Hukaung Valley Rattan Survey). 


Packing Up In Shimbweyeng

Was rummaging through some of the video cassettes from the 2005 rattan survey in northern Myanmar (see Hukaung Valley Rattan Survey) and found a bunch of really nice footage. This clip shows a foggy morning in Shimbweyeng as we pack up the truck for our long drive back to Tanai (see Tolagyi Tour of Tanai). A lot of the bags being loaded on the truck are full of rattan specimens in plastic bags soaked in FAA (formalin-acetic acid-alcohol). All of the people and all of the bags were transported in this truck. We stood up in the back on top of our bags for about 7 hours. [NOTE: I'll post more videos as I slowly work through this material. I am ready to go back]. 


Myanmar TV 3

So here I am on January 15, 2005, standing out in a field next to a pagoda in Shimbweyeng, Myanmar (see Pressing Palms), holding a leaf of Calamus palustris and talking to a reporter from MRTV-3 about "the rattan situation" in Kachin State. While the cameras roll. You couldn't make this stuff up. The interviewer, whose name I forget, was the daughter of the Burmese diplomat to the U.S. and grew up in Washington. Her English was very good. As were her questions, e.g. "how many species of rattan are endemic to the Hukaung Valley"?

[NOTE: The camera crew was actually in Shimbweyeng to film the Naga festival (see Naga Festival), but apparently Andrew and I were just too quirky a story to pass up: Scientists from New York Study Spiny Palms in Hukaung Tiger Reserve].


Pressing Palms

Andrew Henderson and I together with  U Tin Maung Ohn (white shirt, sitting cross-legged on a newspaper; see U Tin Maung Ohn and the Monkey), U Kyaw Lwin (dark blue shirt, sitting on the ground), and several local field assistant in the courtyard of the Shimbweyeng Guesthouse in northern Myanmar cutting up and pressing the day's collection of palm specimens. [NOTE: Warm enough for palms, but I have on a flannel shirt and several of the guys are wearing jackets. Perfect weather for botanizing]. 


More Kachin

Another shot from the 2005 Naga Festival in Shimbweyeng (see Naga Festival and Manau Leader). I like the image, but the real reason for posting it is that the people and resources of Kachin State in northern Burma have been very much on my mind since Friday's post. May all beings be safe, happy, healthy, and free from suffering. [NOTE: Including Kachin in your mettā practice certainly couldn't hurt anything. Gassho].


Tea Break

Taking a break in a tea shop in Shimbweyeng (I think) during the 2005 rattan survey of the Hukaung Valley in northern Myanmar (see Hukaung Valley Rattan Survey). L to R: U Tun Shaung, media assistant in WCS Myanmar Program; me; U Kyaw Lwin, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Botany, Mandalay University; U Tin Maung Ohn, Associate Professor, Department of Botany, University of Yangon; U Myint Maung, Warden, Hukaung Tiger Reserve; U Saw Lwin, orchidologist, Department of Botany, University of Yangon; Zon Nay Tun, head, WCS field crew. Great group of people. [NOTE: I assume Andrew (see A Palm, Two Botanists With Cameras) took the photo].