Namhsan, a small ridge top city in the green tea producing highlands of Northern Shan State was ravaged by a fire a week ago that destroyed 209 homes and businesses. It started in a tea processing factory at 1 PM, and the ridge top winds blew the fire faster than the fire department could contain it. A small community’s business center was 12 hours later decimated. Fortunately no one was hurt or injured, but the wreckage will take many months, if not years, to rebuild. The local aide response has been resounding, which we are so happy to be part of a community in Northern Shan State that helps in the face of disaster.
For Myanmar Adventure Outfitters, as newcomers to the area, Namhsan is not even a location we had been to, but the area around there is appealing for adventure travellers, so we spent a day to help out and explore. Our vision is to “Explore & Invest in communities along the Burma Road from Lashio to China”, and although Namhsan is not in this specific area, it is a community in our greater Northern Shan State area.
We sorted through our things personally and contributed several bags of our own clothes and toys (from our kids) and delivered other clothes contributed by a Lashio-based church, and joined others in purchasing large bags of rice to deliver to 3 families whose homes had been destroyed in the fire. Our effort is small, but the overall effort is very big, and we are honoured to be use our new truck to reach this community and be able to bless three families sorely affected by this tragedy.
Secondarily, the windy trip to Namhsan from Lashio provided some inspiration regarding adventures we want to explore more. The headwaters of the Dohtawaddy River emerge from a narrow steep valley below the 7000 ft high mountains above, which provide a network of trails to and from the river and beautiful opportunities to explore this turquoise canyon river. So, we will seek the necessary permissions and need to explore further in these isolated communities about the feasibility and how we can be impactful in these areas.
At the end of the day, we feel satisfied to live out our vision of exploring and investing, and look forward to future explorations in this area.