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One of the giraffe women

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A leg rower and fisherman

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A hill tribe boy in the mountains

INLE LAKE     On my first trip to Inle Lake, friends Wayne and Althea joined me on the "truck ride from hell".  It started at 4:00 AM.  We froze. After sunrise and some warmth, we concentrated on the exhaust fumes the rest of the way. I knew to fly to Heho on trip two.  

Upon arrival in Nyaung Shwe and Inle Lake, we headed to the lake.   Dry season ended with our arrival.  It poured when we entered a monastery.  This was the monastery nobody could remember the name of.  Everyone referred to it as Jumping Cat Monastery.  They had 22 cats and they really jumped through a hoop for food.

The weather cleared and we could only think it was too bad because we almost got to spent the night at the monastery.  But, we would have needed police permission in advance. 

One evening we saw a puppet show.  We were early so we had time to talk with Win, the puppet master.  It was low season and our show was the only one he had had all month.  Fortunately, there was a crowd of eight people (the total number of tourists he'd had the previous month) and we were thoroughly entertained.  Win moved those puppets just like the dancers we'd seen.

When the opportunity presented itself, I almost said no because of laziness. However, I knew I'd regret it. So I hired an English speaking guide (for $3.00) to walk to a remote village.  A teacher in Beijing talked of being the first foreigners to ever enter a village.  I wanted remote.  I wanted isolated.  I wanted to be the first, or almost.  Well, it was three long hard hours up the mountain.  But, when we got to the top, several homes had tin roofs. There were no traditional costumes. 

I did photograph this darling little boy who wore a necklace of old coins.  However, I needed a video of him with his brother as they hurriedly washed their faces for the picture.  I didn't want him in his clean shirt.  So, I had to take two pictures.

Copyright 1998 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.