The people of Min Nan Thu village work hard to support themselves, including allowing the occasional tourist like us to visit, with one young woman serving as our guide.
The buildings are modest in the traditional way of the Myanmar countryside.
But the people are open and friendly. (For the thousandth time, I wish I could speak Burmese.)
This old woman rolls a kind of cigar to sell in the market. Here, she pauses in her work to enjoy one of her products and to entertain us. She is holding the tin can under her lighted cigar so that she doesn’t inadvertently burn down her house with a stray spark. A relative (or neighbor) comes to visit and perhaps also show us a courteous welcome.
Here is what the cigar-lady’s house looks like on the inside.
The family sleeps upstairs. There is a television, but no electricity. They watch TV maybe two hours a week, running it on a battery.
The girl below is making woven bamboo picture frames, which she will sell to tourists.
This is the inside of her house:
Below are some views of the village’s general store, which is also the shopkeeper’s house. It is the most substantial house by far of any we saw in the village.
The next three pictures show the work area of the village blacksmith and wheelwright. He was not actually working there. Then again, it was daylight and growing season on the farm. We saw no men in the village. Perhaps, except for emergencies, tasks like blacksmithing wait for a less intense time out in the fields.
These children came to see the tourists.
The baby made me feel sad: In the USA there would have been the means to operate on his cleft lip. Here, probably not. But the baby was clearly loved by village women and children alike. In the USA, would all the neighbors have been so caring?
Here is an outdoor living area of a house. The platform is the type that is used indoors and out for sitting, entertaining, working, and sleeping.
More work areas: a heavy-duty foot-operated mortar and pestle and a grain mill. Spinning thread (working on a platform outdoors, like the one in the earlier photograph). A cattle shed.
Everything in Bagan is near a stupa. Min Nan Thu village is no exception.