Our heart is to create impact in our community through adventuring in the communities along the Burma Road and bringing new opportunities to the people in these isolated areas. I just returned from Thailand, where I could speak Burmese with so many people, evidence of the mass exodus of Myanmar's people looking for job opportunities abroad. Hopefully in their risk of seeking employment in another country, like Thailand, China, India, Malaysia or Singapore, they find good work, where they get paid justly and are not mistreated, but that is the exception and not the rule. Our vision is to create jobs in rural Northern Shan State, where education and employment is limited, resulting in great risk for a job abroad, leaving family members behind, and potentially risking their safety for a chance at a better life. Trafficking, forced labor and prostitution, unpaid wages, human slavery, forced marriages to Chinese men...these are all common potential outcomes for people from Shan State living abroad.
Myanmar Adventure Outfitters will make impact, but getting there is a slow process in starting up, and jumping through all the hoops. Merely the legal process has taken us nearly 6 months to start the business and we are not done yet. We are on location now, and can start to develop the business, what we will offer, and make connections in communities outside of Lashio where we will take travellers. But to do this right, to really honour the people, it takes time to build relationships where they are valued the way that they deserve, and not just used for our benefit. Everything seems to happen slower in Myanmar. Even wire transfers, which has taken now 3 weeks to transfer, and has still not arrived. We are ready to start moving forward, purchasing equipment, developing our service, but are at the mercy of a slow system.
To those who are following us, we hope to represent more than just the beauty of our area through our Instagram and Facebook feeds, and in the next couple months we hope to start offering travellers a small sampling of the service we will develop as relationships form, and through this to make economic and social impact in the region.