musings on music, travel, books, and life from Southeast Asia

From Mandalay to Japan

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She’s in the air as I write this, flying from Mandalay to Tokyo with a layover in Seoul, South Korea. Yes, Khin Nwe Lwin, the brilliant young woman from 90th Street in Mandalay is off to study at a university in Japan. To say this is big news for Khin Nwe Lwin and her family would be an understatement. This is a life-changing opportunity.

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I’m sure that her father, U Nyunt Tin, is extremely proud of her, as are her mother and siblings, plus her cousins and friends, most of them living within a stone’s throw of U Tin Chit’s teashop on 90th Street. And hey, I’m proud of her too. Khin Nwe Lwin is an amazing young woman and I feel privileged to count her as a friend. I hope that her experience in Japan will be both enjoyable and beneficial.

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Earlier this year she won a scholarship to attend the graduate school of Natural Science and Technology at Okayama University, where she will be a doctoral student for the next three years. But it’s been a nerve-wracking past few months, as Khin Nwe Lwin had to travel to Nay Pyi Daw and apply for a passport, and then wait patiently to get that passport and then the all-important travel visa. Last week she finally got all the necessary documents and was good to go! I got a note from her a few hours ago, saying that she was at Incheon Airport in Seoul, waiting for her next flight to Tokyo.

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This is the stuff that dreams are made of. Congratulations and best of luck to Khin Nwe Lwin!

 

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