Monday, 30 April 2018

Playing in the Rain, in the (muddy) footsteps of Saya Thet Gyi

“I was in Yangon when Cyclone Nargis hit in 2008. It was terrible. As soon as I could, I headed to Pyaw Bwe Gyi to see how Saya Thet Gyi’s tazaung had fared. The dock on Yangon River had been torn away but was still—barely—standing. It will sound like I’m making this up but I swear I’m not: passengers literally had to crawl from the twisted wreckage of the dock onto the upper story of the ferry, because there were only a couple feet of empty space where the two came together. When I got to Pyaw Bwe Gyi the tazaung was in fairly good shape, although the village itself was not. The most curious thing was this Spanish yogi who had been there through it all. He hardly seemed to register what had taken place. He was continuing with his self-course undisturbed, and said that he had been taking his morning walk to breakfast when the worst of the cyclone struck. He found it rather amusing that my friend and I were making such a big to-do about the whole thing.” –American expat in Yangon, 2008

Below, village children play outside of Anauk Monastery, where Saya Thet Gyi taught until 1945.