Whilst hiding from the afternoon heat at the Zawgyi House Cafe, I bought a ratty postcard from a cheeky young girl. Good thing I did, because a few days later John, Patrick and I got split up while shopping in the Bogyoke Market (read: big market with hundreds of winding aisles and about a zillion people). That same cheeky young girl found all of us and dragged us back to one spot! And then proceeded to lead us around to several different stores and translate for us as we shopped.
This was how we met Maudreyou and her siblings, Keto and Ngenge. After buying dinner for them one night, we learned that their father was an ex soldier and had been booted out of the army after being badly injured (he was shot through the leg and stomach, and also suffered severe burns). Now, without steady income, the children and their mother sell small trinkets like fans and postcards to scrape together enough money to pay the police at the Yangon train station to let them sleep there.
Something to remember is that this is Myanmar… The scams of Thailand (where beggars and touts will spout any sob story they can think of to sell their wares) haven’t made it here yet. The hardships of these people is true… And very common.
Here are some photos from our dinner with Maudreyou, Keto and Ngenge. We gave the kids our cameras and let them run wild them for a while… We’ve ended up with some great results!