By Sydney Squire, Semester at Sea, Spring 2017
While in Myanmar I had the ability to do an Impact trip with Semester at Sea. We went to the Twante Village where we visited a monastery and then went to a local pottery place. At the monastery, we were introduced to the head monk who then offered us to sit down for a meal. We were not expecting to be given a meal at the monastery and our guide said that it was a very nice gift when the head monk invites you for a meal.
He served us watermelon, bean cakes, fermented shrimp with dried beans and tea leaves (my favorite), fried noodles, vegetables, bananas, and two desserts made from beans. The food that was served was amazing and very authentic to Myanmar.
We were told to eat the food with our hands, which was very different for us since we are so used to eating with utensils. I enjoyed the dried beans, fermented shrimp and tea leafs the best. It tasted like snack mix were the beans and shrimp were salty and the tea leafs added a chewy bit to the food. I wish I could have bagged that up and brought it home with me.
The other favorite food was the bean cakes which to me were way to sweet but tasted like donuts. It was an amazing meal with lots of cultural experiences included such as not sitting with our feet to the monk and sitting on the floor. I really enjoyed the experience I had at the monastery and I feel very privileged to have been able to eat my food in that way.