Trips worth entire lifetimes:
Leaving my traumatic past in the past, I would like to focus on the more positive aspects of my high school: Week Without Walls.
Memories are best made with friends-a quote that could not be truer.
Over the course of high school, I had the opportunity to take part in two different Week Without Walls. While it was just two, both trips will remain among the most memorable moments of my young life. The first trip was to Mandalay and the next was to Loikaw.
I was in 9th-grade when we traveled to Mandalay and I was still new to the school(having just experienced the traumatizing event). I am unable to recall every banana leaf wrapped meal we ate or every wave that crashed under me as the boat traversed across the great plains of the Irrawaddy river, but I do recall the lazy sun that set down snugly between the two rises of the distant hills as we docked at a village. The sunrise the next day was even more spectacular. The large expanses of the river that feeds life stretched far beyond my sight, spiraling endlessly continuing its task of enriching civilization. The distant hills once again unveil like curtains as the sun rose. The color transitioned from a sleepy blue to a strong orange hue, signaling the cutthroat arrival in the full glory of the sun. Enveloped in the warmth of the sun as we sipped tea in the early morning dew upon the shores, this is how I remember our trip to the heart of Myanmar, to Mandalay.
My second trip took place in Loikaw, the cleanest-city-in-Myanmar winner, it is now in shambles having felt the brunt of the military battles. I have had the luck to have visited this charming city not once not twice, but thrice. I have spent the majority of my life living in the flat plains of Yangon. My heritage traces back to the elevated lands of Shan state where both my parents, my grandparents, and many more ancestors lived. As we climbed up the steep dirt paths leading up towards the clouds, I felt my life force sucked out and rolled across the endless vastness of the mountains.
I was awestruck, I was shocked, I was speechless. The sights atop the White Elephant Mountain would remain the single most beautiful experience of my entire life. I have taken countless treks atop mountains and hills at various altitudes in my whole life, but this experience at the ceiling of the world in Loikaw takes the highest place in my heart of them all.