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Monday, April 6, 2015

AtoZBlogChallenge:E is for Environment

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My theme this year is Burma AKA Myanmar. I used to live in Laos, so this was a return to Southeast Asia that I looked forward to. I spent a little over three weeks exploring this country, learning a bit about its culture: its history, religion, and language. I thought others might enjoy some of what I learned and see some of what I saw.





While there are varying degrees of plastic debris in the country, there does seem to be at least an effort to clean up the pollution caused by disposable packaging. The government has banned non-recyclable plastic bags and there is something of a recycling and reusing program going on.


A Began Monastery Kid
No Shoes Allowed in any Monastery


Began's cleanliness was the most impressive. Notice how shiny the tiles in this monastery are. They all were very clean and the streets had no litter.


A Little Garbage


Mandalay was a mess of garbage strewn gutters in the downtown area.  I found this image on the linked page because I lost the picture I'd taken when walking the streets of this city. And if you ever do walk the streets of Mandalay, never take your eyes from where you're about to step. Sidewalks end without notice. They are caved in some places, and a misstep will land you in a lovely sewer a few feet below ground. At one major cave in, someone had cleverly placed a piece of cardboard over the hole. I called OSHA, but they didn't answer.

Not to leave on a negative note, overall, Burma was far above many developing countries I've been to in terms of keeping their cities clean.

Don't get me started on China.

Answers to D: What do you know about Dogs in Burma?

T 1. While there are tons of stray dogs in Burma, there's not much to fear from them. (They're usually intent on finding food and shelter. But there is rabies, and I read that the hemoglobin to ward off the disease if bitten is almost non-existent in Burma.)

T 2. Dogs in Burma (ergo anywhere in world where there is little to no care) can have sexually transmitted disease. (This even surprised one vet I read about.)

NOW what do you know about how Burma and its environment?

T/F 1. One recommendation by policy makers is to stop foreign investors from investing in Burma's energy sector.

T/F 2. Burma has no Asian elephants in undeveloped areas.
Answers tomorrow. 

46 comments:

  1. That's awesome they've banned plastic bags that can't be recycled. That's ahead of us. And yes, I know what you mean about China.

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  2. Such a stark contrast between the two. Shame about all that garbage.

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  3. How interesting it is between the two pictures. And to live with that amount of trash... I just can't.

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  4. wow Mandalay sounds so romantic - heaps or garbage, not so much. Fascinating stuff..

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  5. Love the photos. Helps me be there.

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  6. This is so interesting! I've heard of the garbage heaps in third world countries. I've also heard the natives reuse/recycle so much stuff that "junk" or garbage doesn't stay on the ground too long:)

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  7. This is so interesting! I've heard of the garbage heaps in third world countries. I've also heard the natives reuse/recycle so much stuff that "junk" or garbage doesn't stay on the ground too long:)

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  8. I often think about all the things we're encouraged to do for the environment and wonder if we offset even a little of the damage being done by countries like China. I think both statements are false today.

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  9. It is so interesting to learn about places one hasn't or is never likely to go, I realy enjoyed the post and photo's.
    Good word for "E" in the challenge.

    Yvonne.

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  10. This was an amazing post. I have never been to Southeast Asia. I have been to India, and there are similar problems in run-down areas of the biggest cities. The people are wonderful, though.

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  11. Whenever I see a picture of some place that is just overly polluted I wonder how those people let it get that bad. At least Burma is taking steps to clean up.

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  12. The prevalence of garbage in third-world countries has made me really sad, especially since a lot of it is tourist garbage that those countries haven't figured out how to deal with yet.

    A huge determining factor in choosing where we move is how that country approaches environmental stewardship. Seeing garbage in the ocean devastates me.

    However, I was just in China and was impressed by how clean everything was. The streets of Beijing and Shanghai are constantly being cleaned, and in the countryside I never saw any garbage. I know the pollution is bad, but perhaps they've really cracked down on the garbage problem?

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  13. Garbage, garbage, garbage...it ruins everything.

    Even in Europe, there are areas that have to much trash strewn about. I was in Naples and I couldn't help but notice the amount of road trash and the six foot high graffiti on everything, no matter the historical value. Yuck!

    Thanks for the very interesting post! Glad you're in the A-to-Z!

    Cherdo
    www.cherdoontheflipside.com

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  14. too bad we cannot hurl the waste to the sun or the invention of laser trash cans... you drop it in and it is gone.

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  15. It's good to hear they are taking care of the rubbish in some areas - it can only spread to other cities.

    Annalisa, writing A-Z vignettes, at Wake Up, Eat, Write, Sleep

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  16. The monastery does look squeaky clean. Reminded me of the subway system in Lausanne, Switzerland. You could practically eat off the floor there...

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary - Epics from A to Z
    MopDog - 26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary

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  17. Interesting! we have a state in Sudan, Al Gadarif, it's plastic-bag-free and pretty much clean, the Capitol on the other hand is...a freaking mess. I loved how shoes are not allowed in Monasteries. Thanks for sharing.

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  18. Glad to see the cleanliness and they might be cleaner than in North America...Are they? As for the tests-I shall say True to the first but False to the 2nd which I think is probably true but I don't want to go there

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  19. Thanks for guessing on the quizzes. I'm enjoying reading all of your posts. If you have your profile set up on Blogger and have enabled your email responses, I often reply to comments there. Off to do more E Day comments.

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  20. Uh! That picture reminds me of how badly we treat this island. :(

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  21. That's crazy about the cardboard covering a hole. I tend to watch my feet when I walk anywhere, because I trip easy!

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  22. Reminds me of the Indian crying over litter commercial in the 70's here in the US. I think that was a successful anti-littering campaign. It worked on me.

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  23. Banning plastic bags is a big start. They should be banned everywhere!

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  24. At least they're doing something to cut down on the pollution. That's a good start. Every place should do the same, and everyone should be smarter and not throw their garbage everywhere.

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  25. At least they're doing something to cut down on the pollution. That's a good start. Every place should do the same, and everyone should be smarter and not throw their garbage everywhere.

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  26. One place that is really squeaky clean is Singapore. It was quite out of proportion to everywhere else I saw in South East Asia. I suppose it depends on attitude, or the government, I mean you get fined for dropping gum in Singapore.

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  27. Hi Lee - it's great they're keeping so much clean and sparkling - while Mandalay - the name that evokes wonderful stories, exotic places .. is so filthy .. horrible to look at ..

    Both could be true .. look forward to finding out tomorrow .. cheers Hilary

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  28. Wow, this is fascinating. I write about animals in other countries, but seldom look into the cities.

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  29. It is encouraging to hear of the plastic bags recycling. But really, walking the streets you can land in a sewer? That should be in every travel guide, lol (maybe it is).

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  30. Wow! It's cool that the monasteries are clean - and it makes sense. It's scary to think that a sidewalk could cave in and hurt someone. Thanks for sharing your journeys with us.

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  31. Sounds like they are working on having less litter and garbage. Always a good idea to recycle and reuse more! The city streets sound a little tricky!
    ~Jess

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  32. Fascinating! I've heard on Bali, they don't mind strewing around garbage on the roads and along sidewalks because they don't see it as garbage. It's something pretty and a contrast to nature!Maui Jungalow

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  33. I'm enjoying learning about Burma through your eyes and photos! Wow, that's unbelievable with the garbage. It would give me the shakes!

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  34. It's always so much more interesting hearing about a place when someone has walked the walked (and missed the hidden gutters !!)

    I'm going 1 is true and 2 is false...

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  35. I'm glad I stopped in. What a cool topic. Sounds like you have truly experienced the mean streets of Burma. Keeping one's eyes on the street takes on a whole new meaning when you might fall into a sewer!

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  36. Fascinating that they are recycling and reducing bags! We need to do that!

    Yvonne

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  37. Interesting that they've banned non recyclable plastic bags.The monastery looks sparkling clean.
    dropping by from the A to Z
    Suzy at Someday Somewhere

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  38. Wow. I would be a bit leery everywhere I walked! Crazy govt!

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  39. It's sad to hear how other countries are being buried by trash. If it's a problem here, it's usually a bigger problem somewhere else. "Packaging" should really be discussed on a much larger level. Great post!

    You can find me here:
    ClarabelleRant

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  40. Most places have this rubbish/litter problem - it's the attitude of the people.
    Dan Brown A-Z

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  41. Don't people realize that the lack of cleanliness and garbage like that can lead to disease?

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  42. What a difference between Began and Mandalay! Here's hoping everyone will embrace environmental concerns in the near future. At least some are being conscientious.
    P.S. Just wanted to say I love your website's front page and the sound effect.☺

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  43. Sad about the garbage, but I think ours is just more hidden. We've got to find ways to cut back on packaging...what a mess.

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  44. Good to see they're making an effort to undo some of the damage.

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  45. It's all about attitudes. Dirt and lack of hygiene is a recipe for the spread of all types of strange diseases...
    But at least there's some sort of effort towards environmental awareness...
    The streets of Mandalay with their unexpected 'caved-in sidewalks' sounds like an accident waiting to happen...

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  46. Mandalay is sounds so beautiful, but it doesn't sound that way!

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