By Courtney Prater, Missionary Intern to Myanmar
“Myanmar time” is a phrase used to basically say.. whatever time it happens, it happens. It is very different and sometimes difficult for me to accept. Because in America, time is respected (for the most part).That being said, my American buttons were pushed this morning starting at 7:00am when my room was bombarded with 4 young children screaming and laughing to come wake me up. I hate to complain about this, because I will miss them terribly when I leave in two weeks. Anyhow, after they woke me up they viciously went through the gifts that I had yet to give them.After this madness that you could call an “alarm clock” I joined Phoebe and Josiah for breakfast as always. It was 7:55 a.m and class would be starting in 35 minutes- plenty of time for me to change and shower. As I’m leaving Josiah tells me that we will start class at 8:15 today (in 15 minutes). Okay…so I rushed home to shower. Came back with 3 minutes to spare for Phoebe to tell me I would be attending a wedding today.”Oh that will be fun! What time?”
“You will leave at 9:00”

Josiah came in just in time to tell me that my class will be cut in half and we will leave immediately after class. I am wearing shorts and a T-shirt with my hair hardly combed! Sooo. I do what I can in 30 mins of a class then run to my room and throw on a longyi and put my hair up in an unacceptable pony tail for a wedding.

Ah. This was a stressful morning I thought. But then I thought again…is it really? What exactly do I have to be stressed about. I am breathing, I am able to speak, see, hear, I have a family, I have a job, I have shoes on, and I have about 45 kids extremely happy to see me everyday (plus a million more things to be thankful for). I was literally stressed for no reason at all. My attitude was quickly changed. Not to mention I received a very thoughtful message from my good friend Natalie to make me smile and to remind me that being here is an amazing experience.

After this transition,  my day only got better. Starting with a positive message from a close friend and meeting someone who spoke English at the wedding who was beyond polite. Whoever is teaching these people to speak English is doing a great job. Because they are teaching them the polite way to say things.

For example: today someone ask me “May I have your name” rather than “What is your name”. Another example: A couple nights ago someone ask me for my name in a way that I would imagine a fairy tale prince asking his future princess ” If you will, and do not mind, may I know your name” It was so sweet!

The people are so genuine. Someone also told me that he almost forgot to breathe when he saw me with my longyi and narkaa (Myanmar makeup) on my face. Ha! What a compliment eh?

Okay so about this wedding. You can already imagine that it was very different than the ones I have seen at home. First, the invitation did not have an address, only the bus stop location. So once we got to the stop, we kept driving back on the dirt roads asking people on the side of the road if we were headed the right way. Simon said they all replied “yes, it over there” (pointing off into the distance) that was all the information that was given.

Once we finally arrived, the wedding was over and was time to eat lunch. We joined them as if we had been there for the whole ceremony. Chicken and rice was served which Simon told me (as we are eating) this is 80% safe to eat! Not to mention there were only 3 cups on the table that everyone was sharing. Let’s just say I was very thirsty until we stopped on the way home to get our own drinks.

One last thing…Simon and Josiah did not know the people getting married. Or anyone at the wedding for that matter. They were only invited because the bride and groom were Lisu and so are Simon and Josiah. Very interesting.