by Courtney Prater
March 17, 2014
Courtney Prater, Hanover College graduate from Indiana, is spending 70 days in Myanmar teaching at Hope Children's Home near Yangon.

Courtney Prater, Hanover College graduate from Indiana, is spending 70 days in Myanmar teaching at Hope Children’s Home near Yangon.

Getting through the Indianapolis airport was easy enough…Chicago & Korea may be a difficult hurdle however. As I was landing in Chicago I  peeked out the window for a quick picture that was prohibited with a cellular device at this time. Anyways, the thing that stuck out the most to me were the school buses. I could see children running towards the bus from their homes. I am up here in a plane…on my way to another country…to teach English to children in an orphanage and life is still going on nonchalantly below me. What? When did this happen? Years ago when I was boarding the bus rather than a plane, I would have never thought that I would be leaving my safe haven, on my own, to teach. It blew my mind a little. I’m not sure how I got here, or where it will take me, but I am forever thankful for the people who made it happen.

March 19, 2014
Simon, Josiah’s brother in law, met me at the airport to take me back to EBI  (Emmaus Bible Institute). It was nice to see a familiar face for the first time in 24 hours.   He said I am the first missionary in 50 years to be invited back to Burma by a personal letter to stay due to the country being closed off to foreigners. Feeling honored is an understatement.Random fact I learned tonight: Because most of the country is Buddhist, they have the wrong concept about diseases and medicine. They believe that the sickness inside of them comes from a spirit. Therefore they visit a “witchdoctor” rather than seeing an actual doctor. If they do take medication, they will just take one dose and think it will cure the sickness rather than following the correct dosage.
Josiah was waiting for me at the house that I would be staying in for the next three home. I was a little uneasy because I did not know what to expect, but it was perfect.  Couches, beds, coffee tables, stove, closets, toilet etc. The two biggest adjustments for me will be no shower nor a refrigerator.  I expected a bucket shower.  But not having a fridge is a little different for me.  You could say I am a little spoiled with cold drinks etc.
Last time I was here, the day we were leaving, I bought Josiah and his wife a bunch of bread from a local bakery as a gift. When I got here last night, Josiah had a loaf of bread waiting for me at the house. One of the first things he said to me was “you like bread..yeah?” I took this as an inside joke because they found it funny that I had bought them so much random bread ( I did not know what to get them as a gift and I thought the bakery was neat!) Whether he was making a joke or not, I found it funny.
Before I went to bed I unpacked and hung up all my clothes. The two girls from the orphanage that are keeping me company at the house started to help me hang my stuff up. I felt too materialistic for the first time in my life.  I didn’t even bring 1/4 of my clothes from home but I can only imagine what they were thinking when I had 50 items of clothing for me only in my suitcase.
I met Josiah and Phoebe at their house for breakfast. Delicious as always. (Phoebe is an amazing cook) When I was finished I got up to wash my hands and Phoebe says “you are fat” Ha ha!   It took me by surprise because in America you would not say that to someone especially not a lady. I laughed and told her maybe it was the baggy t shirt I had on. She assured me it was not my t shirt. The last time I saw her I was in a longyi and a tight black shirt for the Christmas party. Id like to think that’s why she thought I had gained weight. I guess we will find out the next time I wear my longyi.
Education: traffic was heavy on the main road because it was final exams for High school today. If you fail one question then you fail the whole test and have to wait a whole year to retake it. Also, students in Burma only have 11 grades, unlike the 12 we have in America.
Money: I exchanged 500 American dollars and received 479,000 kyats in return! JACKPOT! Ha if only that were American dollars. (Another thing I learned today was that Burma does not have coins anymore- they are all in museums)
Last night I was too tired from the plane ride to be scared, but as soon as I got in bed tonight I saw a lizard on my wall! Deep down I know I’m fine, but I still don’t like the thought of it crawling on me or worse…… in my mouth.