Since sanctions were lifted to travel to Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) in 2011, tourism is on the rise. However, American’s still make up only about 20% of the foreign travelers to this ancient land. As the founder of Dog Meets World my goal was to see this awakening and unspoiled Myanmar and to connect to local children through photography. Via email from home I explained the project, asking my travel agent in Yangon to describe my interest in visiting schools as well as the historic sites to the local guides. So taking a detour from the temple strewn landscape of Bagan, we visited a village school. All the desks in the bright classroom had been donated by people from around the world. In white paint their names and countries of origin were written.
The children, as do many adults, wear the native face makeup called thanaka. The light yellow paste is made by rubbing the bark of a special tree with water. It’s applied decoratively or seemingly randomly, but is seen ubiquitously in Myanmar. However what was most endearing and charming while with the children was the way each one bowed slightly after I took their photo. It was an honor to share with them their beautiful images. The well-behaved children were polite and patient awaiting their photo to be printed. Taking a few hours from exploring places to interacting with local children is the most delightful way to tour!
Best Foto of the Week!
Praise for DMW
"Participating in Dog Meets World was a truly magical experience, bringing joy and wonderment to all I met."
John Carr, Phodographer across South America
"Dog Meets World unleashes the power of photography as a diplomatic and personal tool in building connections among the people of the world. It embeds a memory in photographer and subject alike."
Prof. Patrick Fleming, Fulbright scholar & Phodographer Cambodia & Kyrgzystan
"You will never know just how important that photo will be long after it is taken and given."
Delores Barr Weaver, co-owner Jacksonville Jaguars
"Dog Meets World went over fabulously in my village. It is a perfect option for Peace Corps volunteers like myself. I like the Foto dog mascot, kids like it, and it is a representation of the peace and the ideas of the project."
Kristen Woodruff, Phodographer Costa Rica
"The kids are absolutely loving Dog Meets World. For a majority, these were the first images of themselves that they have ever owned."
Marti Johnson, Phodographer Uganda