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Where are you going next?

 Africa86 votes
76.11%
 South America3 votes
2.65%
 Europe3 votes
2.65%
 Eastern Asia5 votes
4.42%
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7.96%
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total votes: 113
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WheresCherie.COM Quote
"The dying process begins the minute we are born." -- Carol Matthau

284--Myanmar (Burma): Thibaw, Water-Buffalo & Ox-Carts
@ CherieSpotting     Mar 29 2005 - 11:26 PST
cherie writes: Flashback: I'm not sure how these ideas creep into my head, but it seemed like fun. "I want to ride a water-buffalo," I informed my Aunt Lynda one morning. That very same afternoon we walked to a Shan village (near Thibaw, Shan State, Myanmar) in search of a water-buffalo.

Of course, the first water-buffalo my joking Aunt picked had just rolled in the mud. I requested a less dirty water-buffalo and my Aunt gave me a look that said I should stop being so picky. Then my Aunt suggested a much cleaner water-buffalo (that was actually submerged in water.) I politely requested a non-wet, non-muddy water-buffalo to mount.

We finally found a water-buffalo and my Aunt said something to the Shan farmer who led the water-buffalo by a leash. Aunt Lynda spoke in Burmese and the farmerís face contorted like someone just asked him to explain the Coriolis Effect. My Aunt probably said something like: "Can this girl sit on your water-buffalo, please?" The farmerís eyebrows did a native Shan-dance while he considered the offer. Finally the farmer agreed, but Iím not sure if the water-buffalo was ever officially consulted.

My Aunt looked at me, and said: ďThe farmer said OK, so get on it.Ē

Iím not sure if youíve ever jumped on a water-buffalo before but I donít recommend it. With a bit of help from our one-legged guide, I climbed aboard and became the villageís afternoon entertainment. A little boy copied me, and ran to the river and jumped on the submerged water-buffalo and soon the villageís entire herd was mounted by kids.

As we left the village, the Shan kids scrambled to the entrance to wave goodbye to the big crazy blonde lady. (Word had already spread through the village that the American girls (Jean and I) passed out sweets to the children. They were eager and grateful to get their treats.

Later, Jean and I hitched a ride on an Ox-cart and walked up a water-fall.

Click on each picture to see it full size.

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A Shan farmer lets me ride his water-buffalo bareback in a village near Thibaw, Myanmar. *Photo by Aunt Lynda.

A Shan farmer lets me ride his water-buffalo bareback in a village near Thibaw, Myanmar. *Photo by Aunt Lynda.

Aunt Lynda and I visit a Shan village together.

Aunt Lynda and I visit a Shan village together.

Young girls fetching water from the river.

Young girls fetching water from the river.

Evreyone comes out to look at the blonde foreigner.

Evreyone comes out to look at the blonde foreigner.

Little boy in the village.

Little boy in the village.

He never takes his hat off, he loves it.

He never takes his hat off, he loves it.

After searching through the village, we come across a farmer with his water-buffalo.

After searching through the village, we come across a farmer with his water-buffalo.

In case you wondered how I got on the water-buffalo, my Aunt snapped this photo.

In case you wondered how I got on the water-buffalo, my Aunt snapped this photo.

Now I look like a local. *Photo by Aunt Lynda.

Now I look like a local. *Photo by Aunt Lynda.

A little Shan boy copies me.

A little Shan boy copies me.

Kids playing by the water-buffalo.

Kids playing by the water-buffalo.

All over the world, children play the same.

All over the world, children play the same.

Typical Shan home.

Typical Shan home.

Jean (who used to play the flute) tries her hand at playing sugar-cane.

Jean (who used to play the flute) tries her hand at playing sugar-cane.

Here's how you suck out the sugar.

Here's how you suck out the sugar.

Cherie on a Shan farm. *Photo by Jean.

Cherie on a Shan farm. *Photo by Jean.

Time to take a bath.

Time to take a bath.

Hitching a ride on an Ox-cart.

Hitching a ride on an Ox-cart.

It's a little bumpy and a lot of fun.

It's a little bumpy and a lot of fun.

Has this cart had its smog-check?

Has this cart had its smog-check?

A water-buffalo and his friend "the town chicken."

A water-buffalo and his friend "the town chicken."

No wheel-chair access here.

No wheel-chair access here.

Hauling water from the lake.

Hauling water from the lake.

Jean explores life as a Shan farmer.

Jean explores life as a Shan farmer.

Hard work keeps her body fit.

Hard work keeps her body fit.

His wife told him if he didn't wash his shoes out, he'd be in big trouble.

His wife told him if he didn't wash his shoes out, he'd be in big trouble.

Washing the shoes...where does the smell go?  In the river?

Washing the shoes...where does the smell go? In the river?

The shoes are done--he's ready for fun!

The shoes are done--he's ready for fun!

I have a lot in common with this toddler--we both like cookies.

I have a lot in common with this toddler--we both like cookies.

A satellite-dish on a shack.

A satellite-dish on a shack.

The joke goes something like this...these two monks were walking down the road, and the one monk said to the other monk...

The joke goes something like this...these two monks were walking down the road, and the one monk said to the other monk...

He wanted to know what kind of toothpaste I used.

He wanted to know what kind of toothpaste I used.

Ready to hike to a waterfall?

Ready to hike to a waterfall?

Cherie and Jean in the banana trees. *Photo by Aunt Lynda.

Cherie and Jean in the banana trees. *Photo by Aunt Lynda.

Ready to get your feet wet?

Ready to get your feet wet?

Cherie and Lynda. *Photo by Jean.

Cherie and Lynda. *Photo by Jean.

They call this a trail?

They call this a trail?

A little help up the rapid.

A little help up the rapid.

It's just around the next bend. *Photo by Jean.

It's just around the next bend. *Photo by Jean.

Aunt Lynda makes it to the top.

Aunt Lynda makes it to the top.

Our driver, named Sein Lwin.

Our driver, named Sein Lwin.

Our one-legged guide helps two-legged Cherie to the top. *Photo by Jean.

Our one-legged guide helps two-legged Cherie to the top. *Photo by Jean.

Our guide lost his leg to a land-mine.  He was helping build a pagoda when the land-mine exploded.

Our guide lost his leg to a land-mine. He was helping build a pagoda when the land-mine exploded.

That's a long way up! *Photo by Jean.

That's a long way up! *Photo by Jean.

Jean catches me trying to turn my longy (Burmese skirt) into a diaper. *Photo by Jean.

Jean catches me trying to turn my longy (Burmese skirt) into a diaper. *Photo by Jean.

I don't think this "look" works for me. *Photo by Jean.

I don't think this "look" works for me. *Photo by Jean.

The water is so cool and refreshing!

The water is so cool and refreshing!

Happy hikers.

Happy hikers.

Cherie at the top. *Photo by Lynda.

Cherie at the top. *Photo by Lynda.

Smiles don't get much bigger than this.

Smiles don't get much bigger than this.

Just follow the water back to the village.

Just follow the water back to the village.

I think it's this way. *Photo by Jean.

I think it's this way. *Photo by Jean.

And back through the banana trees.

And back through the banana trees.

Jean, back at the Shan village.

Jean, back at the Shan village.