The attempt to say a little and a lot about my time in Burma.

Since I have been writing this in different languages. Sometimes I wonder weather I already sad that. 

So I will attempt to add it all here.
In about two months I had mild stroke. I was found with Cerebral vasculitis. I had tickets to to fly to Israel and I wanted to visit my friends from Israel and from Palestine. I was told to cancel.

One month later I had another inflammation in my brain and from hospital I bought a ticket to come to Burma. People where rather concerned but there was nothing to be said my deep desire to come here would not be killed one more time.

I flew and met amazing people. In Mandalay I became friends with Mr Win who is in his sixties and who spoke well English. His father had worked for the British. From Mr Win I was told part of the history. 

Aung San was killed in 47, independence of Britain happened in 48. He had left 3 children Aung San Su Chi, and Aung San Oo who lives in the Us and a dead child. 


Su chi returned in 88 to fight against the Military Junta and was put in house arrest for 6 years. In 2011 there were frauded elections that put General Thein Sein in power. And only in 2016 did Tink Jaw who was not from the military but rather the son of a famous writer won with apparently massive support.

At the time I was told by Mr Win he believed disbelieving and took me going to Bagan, Yangon, Kalaw, and Inle Lake to understand a bit more of what really that meant.
Both Bagan and Inle are extremely touristic and beautiful but they never enchanted me as much as Kalaw. 


And so I learned in Inle that in 49 the prime minister became Unuk. There was extreme influence from both China and India and the desire of separation of many states.

From what I understand there are 7 states and 7 divisions. Being the states Cachin, Cayá, Cayín, Moon, Tchín and Chan. And the divisons Mandalay, Yangon, Pagô, Ehaudí, Tanin Tají and Sokai.


Since Unuk could not keep all states together, I am told by a man who seemed to adore the Junta that in 48 General Niwin started to take power and in 62 he declared that there is no possibility for communism nor separations.
Niwin is followed by General Sómo in 88 and in 1992 it is General Their Suí, in 2010 it is Thein Sein who calls for the “fake” elections. 

It is important to say that while the west made his boycott which never comes from real concern to people, but probably economic influence  China and Thailand did not.

Most of my time I have spent in Chan. I love it here. However my friends here come from here, from Nepal and from Yangon. The Nepalis are from Gurka’s families and apparently differently than in Brazil mixigenation is not common. Marriages are either arranged or by love.

So then by me asking the whole world I meet loads of Asians here. And while Mr Win misses the British, in Inle Lake the man seemed to miss the generals, the youth who is educated is rather pessimistic.

They openly talk about the fact that this new democracy works for the reach. It creates new laws, new taxes and new fees. My beloved Kalaw is being bought by reach people from Mandalay or Yangon.


The mountains are permeated by plantations of local groups. The elderly do not speak Burmese, they speak their local language. Children do because they go to school.


I stayed here 5 days left and returned for more 5 days. By this time not only I am invited to eat for the past three nights in Min Min house, but I learned their customs , I bring gifts and last night I was given gifts from locals.


How can I possibly explain how moved I am by everything. How thrilled I can walk more then 20 kms every single day. I am thrilled to be recognised here not as a common tourist who simply thinks about them selves but to be recognised by the manager of my hotel as someone who actually really loves here. She gave me a Tamei (local clothes)last night so that I would have something from Chan.

I was moved beyond belief to get a scarf from Tara( Min Min’s wife), to learn how to put it by Thutu who studied in Uni Pali and Buddhism. I truly hope those who come this way can give these people the real value they have.

The world is going through the same phase all over. Some of us are so lucky that we can escape that. Virginia is from America she quit her life 2 years ago. She is in Ko TAO, Thailand guiding scuba divers. She did not give herself to disapointme t and returned home. She stayed and is here to renew her visa. Just like me she looked a special place.

We are not consumists of the resources of the world. We are the privilege ones who can choose to go down in our pains , we stand up and we search for beauty. 


I am so happy she heard me when I told her Min Min was great. I am so happy she could really see the depth and the beauty of being here. It is not Disney beauty. It is the beauty of life.

So, while our world is choosing this path of total exploration of resources, exploitation of people we are in a different path. This path of profound knowledge of the other which is self knowledge. We know is for few and we understand different people want different things.

With its limits there is Internet. And we can through time remain in contact. Like I have done with some people I met in Asia for years.

It has been 6 months since Leila Alaoui has departed. I have put letters in a pagoda but none was so important like here. Kalaw is my new little home in Asia and I am about to go to see Min Min, then Mr Win then Nong Khai.

Yes , I tried before 3 times , in the third time I almost died in Bangkok. I was in a coma. When I woke up the world that I knew and love no longer existed. I was abandoned, I had loss of neurones. Life had no meaning anymore. And when I did not die one day the anger disappeared, the ability to love was given to me again, my desire to come here was wildly awaken.. And now I can simply say Thank you. 

It has been 5 months since Leila Alaoui has left us.

Nabil Reminded me today that it has been 5 months that Leila has left us. He told me if I went to a temple Leila would be with me.
In my mind I decided to take a page of my red book and to write Leila a letter. 

In it I told her I had learned from Dra EUthymia that mourning had 4 steps. 

First is was denial, When we don’t want to believe that death has happened, 

Second  was anger which is when we get angry to someone, to even the person who departed, or even to ourselves for our mistakes. 

Third comes a moment of feeling life has no meaning anymore without the person who left. That part could last 6 months. If  we notice we are still there we should look for help. 

And finally, the fourth time would be happy nostalgic feelings. We would remember of the person with joy, with love, with laughter.
I wrote to Leila saying I was sure she was fine. I recognised my guilts and my love and my concern for Nabil, Christine, Mounia, Soulaimane and Yasmina. I told her about our secrets and put my letter next to the beautiful blue Buddha in the Pagoda of my beloved city Kalaw here in Burma.


What a beautiful pagoda I thought. There were four options of Buddhas and I chose this blue one. I wrote in the letter Fellipe would have thought of her in Africa. I told her she will always be my dear friend. And I will always think of her beloved ones. In my bare foot I departed the pagoda. I feel total gratitude and love. I hope you are all well.


Love Jules

To trek in Kalaw is not only trekking.

I have now been in Burma or Myanmar for about 18 days. I love Burma. It is Not only because of the beauty of Bagan or Pagodas, forests, mountains

It is because of the people. It started with Mr. win 

Anyone who knows me, should know I speak a lot, I ask about a lot, I try to learn so much about the history of this country. By now I know a little of Burmese language and more importantly I know some wonderful people. Like Lone Lone in Mandalay.


I fell in love with Kalaw. Here I met Min Min who is 30 and after working many years as a guide he was able to open his trekking agency. It is called July 7 and it started in March.


Min Min speaks English very well and his grandfather was Gurka. I walked with Min Min and Thutu who in the beginning spoke little English. It was more like he was afraid to make a mistake.

Thanks to our attempts I learned a lot. Thutu graduated from Pali and Buddhism so he could teach so much about the pagoda and the cave. In fact he even told me about legends and stories.
I liked it so much here that we attempted exploratory walk. We saw many plantations, the jungle.


We met  “Palaoom” people. We spoke as we could. And of course we laughed going down and up mountains for more than 25 kms 🙂


Yesterday I suggested to go again to View Point. This time it was a different walk and I am so happy I decided to go back. The Indian restaurant is in fact Nepalese 🙂 the weather was great and I learned so much more because we went through a different path.

To add to this amazing day walking from 8:30 to almost 5. I was invited to have dinner in Min Min’ house. This time also came Krishna who is also from a Gurka family.

So suddenly we were in their house. Tara is Min Min’s beautiful wife, Nadja and Kaman , his 7 and 2 year old children. Thutu and Krishna also live there  and luckily Virginia, the American I met in Kalaw took my advice and also joined us. And Tara was so nice to have us. She even lent me a Tamei when I was cold.

We had wonderful Min Min’s food. We sat on the floor and we ate in Burmese style with our hands. We had so much good food. And that was not even the only thing we had fun with.


Thutu showed us what a person can do with a Long Ji. We laughed. They showed us their games. And though I tried to jump close to the floor I could not do it. 

I learned that women bathe using a Tamei. I learned so much. Every single day is special, but yesterday was even more special because I really learned a lot and could see how is life in Kalaw. How it is that they put Tanaka in their face.


They put it in me 🙂


I walked with Min Min ‘s agency 3 days. And I like so much this place that I stayed here. Everyday I am more convinced we are so similar, and the difference that exists can exist even in one family but they do not necessarily exist between cultures.
We make our lives from our actions and courage to live and respect and try to understand the other.


If you ever come to Burma come to Kalaw. Go to Min Min in July 7 and please respect them. All they do is to pay attention so that you can have a great time, and all that I wish is that they have a great life too. They live in a great place.
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Hours walking in Kalaw and the story of this wonderful country

It is rather difficult to see so much, speak so much like I always do and to write in both languages. Hard to publish it since the Internet always depends on how many people are using it.

However I would like to tell you about my last day. It seems almost boring to say that it was wonderful. But it truly was. I am about to leave Kalaw and yesterday I tracked from 8am to 6pm with Min Min and Thutu.

Of course people and I always talk through sines and language but Min Min not only spoke  English well but he knew about everything.

I asked him what he thought about the government. So in the brief version I ll tell you What Mr. Win told me in Mandalay. It goes a bit like this: the British left in 48.

 General Aung San was killed in 47 and left 3 children. One is dead and the other two are Aung San Su Chi who studied at Oxford and Aung San Oo who lives in the Us.

In 1988 the Junta, which is the military government, took power and Su Chi returned to defend her country and was put in house arrest for 6 years.

In 2011 there were elections who gave power to the general so no one really believed on it. The blockade made by the west was never made by China and Thailand.

This year (2016 ) in April the election gave power to Hint Kiaw who was not from the Junta but rather from the party of Su Chi.  

So I arrived in a country where people seem to believe is positive change but they disbelief at the same time. And they are all in the Internet now.

Mr Win regrets the departure of the British and dislikes the Junta. His father was a translator for the British. He taught me a lot when I was in Mandalay.

Yesterday I spoke to Nim Nim whose grandfather was to my surprise from the Gurka. So when the British left he was given the option either to stay, or to return to Nepal or to remain with the Gurka. He stayed and joined the local army before it was the government.

Min Min is 29 and when I asked him what he thought of the new government he told me it was too early to know. What he could already see was that there was more taxes, more costs, it helped banks, and created a big division between the rich and the poor.

Min Min showed me it all. We walked for about 10 hours. And not only did he know about every single plant, every single tree, every thing about the region. But he was always willing to help.

We walked to a Buddhist cave and I was moved beyond belief! Bagan was wonderful, but this quite, closed place moved me more deeply. I sat and heard the mantras a lady did. I had tears on my eyes.


I walked bared foot and stepped in shit. I laughed. They helped me clean it. I told them if that was the worse thing in a day it was a wonderful day.

Min min laughed and told me for them to step or to dream about shit was good luck. We were washed by water. Brief rain after a hot day of many kms walked was to me a blessing too.

I am even invited to come to his house to have dinner with his wife and children. I am so tired, so dirty that it is better when I come back.
I do not enjoy running, I enjoy spending time and returning. 

So today after 5 days in Kalaw I go to Inle Lake. And luckily I ll stay less there and come back for dinner and walks with Min Min, and after that I want to go to Mandalay to say goodbye to Mr Win.

Oh and very importantly Burma is a coloniser name, it is actually Bámar or Myanmar 🙂 and there are  7 states:

Cachin, Cayá, Cayín, Moon, Tchín,Rakai and Chan.
Spelled in a way I can get the prounounciation close enough 🙂

I love Asia.

Today is my total laziness day. It is not because I am sick, nor tired, nor is the weather bad. It is because after 19 km walking in the mountains of Kalaw with my great guide Kimanjê . Not only I knew lots about his life but He told me he was going to another city with his uncle.

I guess I have been writing so much in Portuguese, that I have to make a huge summary. For those who have read me you all know about Mr Win.

Mr. Win took me to the botanical garden of Pwin Oollwim. I chose to go in the local way and thanks to Mr Win not only he did this but I learned a lot about his life and about Burma or Myanmar.

It goes a bit like this. Mr win’s father worked for the British and he learned English when he was 4. His life became way more complex after the British left in 48.

Myanmar was called Burma since the mid 19th century till 1988. In 1947 the General Aung San was killed and in 1948 the British left. In 1988 the Junta took power and changed the name of the country.

 There many different cultures here more than 100. In 2011 there was an election which elected the General Thein Sein from the Junta to become president. 

According to Mr Win, actually all of this part is according to him. They changed colour , in other words from official Military government to fake democracy. No one believed it.

When Aung San died he left 3 children. One is dead, and the other two are Aung San Su Chi, and Aung San Oo.
In 1988 the Junta took power and Aung San Su Chi returned and lived under house arrest for about 6 years.

Finally in 2016 the new election put Tink Yaw into presidency. He is the son of a famous writer and is from the party of Su Chi. Su Chi is in International relations now.

So I am in a country where many people are very happy. Mr Win says it is a young democracy and he believes disbelieving.
I absolutely adore Mr Win. I not only met him by total luck but I ate with him and his students in the street for 2 days. I learned how to eat with my hands, I spoked to his students in micro words about Messi and Neymar 🙂

On the third day he came with me to the botanic garden. And though he now lives in a monastery and teaches everybody he has little money. He never charged me to take me. He just agreed for me to pay food and transport. And everyday I think I should have insisted more.

I took a bus to Kalaw and here I hired Kimanhê ( my spelling). He was a young boy. I am always optimistic. Yesterday we had a marvellous day walking the mountains. We walked from 8:30 to 4:30. I was never even tired. 

It was the two of us and wow I learned even more. This boy who was so modest at first is actually in the fourth year of law school. He knew so much about politics, the plants, about anything really.

So his initial scepticism about the government has foundation. He told me about the conflicts there are in the border of Bangladesh. 

He does not chew tobacco leaves, or drinks or smokes because he is concerned about life. He is concerned about the environment. He knew and spoke about documentaries on global warming. 

I wonder sometimes how is it that some people believe we are very different. So much similarity and difference there is even inside one family. Just imagine in the world.


We spoke in the middle of midst, and fog and it was wonderful. So green, so much talk, so much I learned of the Burmese language. 

He explained that now phones are accessible to all but Internet is expensive. They use it a lot in games. I was sad to know that he would not be here but he told me where to go, how to dress. So I went to the other agency and bought for 2 days later. I never knew I would wake up so well today.

I open the curtains and is sunny. It is 6 am. I go down and see the Junta in the streets. I walk to the agency but it is too early. I walk a while and then return to have breakfast.

In my lovely hotel I have now friends from Singapore and a mysterious family of a Japanese men, and 3 Burmese girls. The lovely lady told me she does not speak Japanese. And the man does not speak Burmese or English. The children did. When I see this meals of 4 people who cannot speak to each other my eternal thought that language is not that fundamental brings me joy.

The lovely girl from Singapore tells me I should not walk today. I should go to a Spa. She even tells me she thought about me last night. How could I go out of a hospital, fly to Asia and climb a mountain.

She was so cute. I told her not to be worried. I was not. But I did take her advice seriously. Why not. It is already booked for tomorrow. The rain never displeased me. Let’s find out what a spa is like. 
All that I have to say is that I love Asia.

Alyosha, Mandalay and I just love the people.

Dear lord you all have to forgive me for non editing 🙂 on top of mynormal non perfect ability to write in any language I have always tons of stories and I am trying to write a bit in Portuguese and in English.

The small version of yesterday is that I arrived in Mandalay and walked in the street and an older westerner looking like came to talk to me.

He joined me and he looked older, worn out, and with a complex life. He looked like the Australian who had escaped prison and went to India. This men eventually told me he was Russian living half in Russia and half in Thailand.

I spoke to him of my adoration for the brothers of Karamazov. And he told me it was not adored by all Russians. He was nothing like my dear friend Andrey that sweats delicacy and truth and dislikes that book. He was mysterious man. I was not afraid by that, I told him I was in hospital 3 weeks ago. He told me so he was and that he had won a new family in Thailand out of something terrible . On top of it all his name was Alexei.

I quoted Alyosha and said it was his nickname . I was meeting him. He knew the book and he was bewildered by that sentenced. In fact shocked . He apologised and left. Alyosha to those who have not read the book says only those who have met their harder emotions can go further in the path of evolution.

As I sat alone a girl from Mandalay smiled and I sad hello. I started a conversation and so she moved to my table. Then came her mom. She spoke a little of English and we became friends on Facebook. 

I woke up and we decided to meet tonight. She will show me the market 🙂 I decided to walk on my own and stopped and had millions little conversations and then I see some people eating while  siting in the street. I ask whether I could take a picture and Mr Win invites me to eat.

I seat on the floor and eat the best food I ever had in years. Spiced. Delicious. Non stop. And to top it all he spoke English and was a teacher. He told me the story of the country.

Once again I am not asked anything and he does not let me pay. I am welcomed to his country. I am told to return. The young boys showed me a paper of football players. Brazilians and Argentinians 🙂

I ran back home to at least write this. Soon it is time to meet my new friend 🙂
How is it again? Someone said the city was not interesting… I love it here. I saw pagodas and a mosque. So many things. I do not know the names of the places. To be quite honest what I love the most is the people.
They also take a picture of me and tell me I will be in their Facebook 🙂 I am happy they will be in mine.

Paulki shows me a place to put Leila’s letter in Bagan.

I woke Up at 4
to not be late. I was here outside before 5. I took of piece of paper and wrote a letter to Leila. I wanted to put it close to a Buddha. 
I met the 3 engineers and we rented the motorbikes. I had not known how to ride. They wanted to see the sun lift and they ran. The Bulgarian boy helped me more. And I just decided to do it slowly on my own. They had a mission to do. And for them everything is about a personal fulfilment.

As I am riding a Burmese man sees that I fall. He helps me up and asks me if I need his help. I thank him and I say that I do not want to disturb him. He says he will at least follow me a bit till I know how to go.

Paulki is his name and he has a Brazilian cap. I tell him about my family and he tells me about his. When we get to a temple he tells me to come inside. I go and he teaches me it all. The history, the story of his family that had been here for the post 5 generations. He shows me a picture of Suu Ki on his phone.

When I enter one of the temples, stupas, I ausdenly saw a Budha. I show him a picture of Leila and I tell him I wrote her a Letter. He tells me to put it close to the Buddha. I stay still and do it. I pray, meditate, cry and feel I so grateful.

As we walk more he tells me I am a good friend. We stop to meet his friends. I ask what he does? He tells me he is a painter. I am even invited to see his family and his paintings.

We see so much. I learn so much. And thinking of the American Engineer I ask him how can I thank him. The American boy had told me I was deluded to think that the people to whom I talked and gave food . ” They would miss the food not you”.

I tried to explain that the people I know who live in the streets spoke to me about they would miss me talking to them. It made them feel human. He thought I was deluded. “We are meaningless in the world”

I ask Paulki what to give him. Maybe the American boy was right. And Paulki says

” I thank you.”

I insist. Let’s eat. Let me thank you somehow.

” You already have. You have a good heart.”

We share Facebook contact. This way we can see our pictures. We take a lot of them. He shows me his village and I tell him I can come home alone. 

We say goodbye with a hug.
I get lost. I talk to many people and not a single one of them did more than tell me the direction without asking anything material in return.

So as I said before in my lack of religion I meet every single one of them in me. In our deep humanity with its flawed we connect ourselves in the “limited” or non definable amount of energy there is.

I will always aspire for the inpermanent permanence of the value of single encounters I have had. I am defined by the priviledge I have for receiving and giving an non accountable amount of love, gratitude and joy. 

What this American boy sees as simple power I see as a gift. Not in the anthropological definition as a contract but simply not definable by language.

Paulki and I share a lot in photos, gestures, and in laughter. Thanks to him I have found a place where to put my letter to Leila. Insh’ Allah her good energy floats now in Kilimanjaro and in Burma.