Establishing my new life in Myanmar

After a few weeMYRks of broadcast silence I am finally back behind the keyboard to continue my blog from Yangon, Myanmar.

You might think I lost interest or have achieved everything I wanted with this blog, but quite the opposite is true.

In the past weeks I had to set priorities as the move from Rome, Italy to Yangon, Myanmar, which is quite substantial. My focus was on settling the family into a new house, getting the kids used to a school routine and have a successful start into my new assignment as the Head of Finance and Administration for the World Food Programme in Myanmar.

Now that I am getting some traction in these areas, I can start incorporating my tea blog back into my life and I am thrilled in doing so. My amazing journey with tea did not stop and I am looking forward sharing my experiences with you over the next weeks.

One thing is true: Myanmar is an unexplored world and I am happy opening it up for you on everything regarding tea.  This is tea heaven and tea central. It is part of the day to day life in a different but exiting way as we “Westerners” are used to. Tea is everywhere: in the streets, in the restaurants, in food and in the supermarket. My heart was filled of joy when I visited a local supermarket in Yangon.

41811525 - a tea leaf salad in a restaurant in the city of nyaungshwe on the inle lake in the shan state in the east of myanmar in southeastasia.

It is exactly how the tea shelves should look like in the US: a combination of convenience for the everyday tea drinker while at the same time leaving room for the adventurous customer.

You get a sense of quality, loose leaf tea is not a novelty but comes in all kinds of forms and shapes. And I am talking just about the day to day standard supermarket. Wait till we get into the subject of specialty tea stores and tea salons or the mysterious tea stall in downtown Chinatown.

I have a sense that my days of learning will be getting more intense and I am looking forward exploring the region close to the origins of tea. And I am happy to take you along on this adventure.

And while my beloved tea collection is somewhere in the middle of the Indian Ocean soon to arrive here in Yangon, I will continue to share my experiences with you.

I can’t say it enough as we are opening a new chapter on this tea blog: I am still in disbelief that an interesting idea at a Christmas market only last December has turned into an amazing adventure on our website and our social media outlets. I would like to use this opportunity to THANK all of our supporters, our Facebook friends who support me every day, to the now over 7,000 supporters on Twitter to the friends and fans on the other platforms like Instagram, Google+, Snapchat, etc. etc. Thank you!

Kristen and myself still cannot believe that we actually attended the World Tea Expo in Las Vegas last July and the graduation ceremony to become a tea sommelier, I had a chance to meet my amazing teacher Donna Fellman, chatted with the other students and meet the gurus in the tea world, with meeting James Norwood Pratt as one of the highlights. And I was able to give some small samples of Myanmar tea to my teacher and tea blogging friends, as I think Myanmar tea is amazing and deserves a place on the tea stage of the world. But more on this in a separate blog entry.

My amazing job at WFP will give me the opportunity to travel around the country to support our offices but also to travel to neighboring countries such as Thailand, India55645620 - tea plantations in myanmar, China, Vietnam and Cambodia. And as my energy will be on my full time job, I will try to carve out small pockets of time I can dedicate to my passion: to learn more about tea and about the cultures surrounding it.

I have been so warmly welcomed by my colleagues here in Myanmar and even received some amazing tea from different regions of the country. At every meal here at WFP, fresh green tea is served (for free!) in unlimited amounts.

With that in mind I am trying to make this new chapter of the tea blog more meaningful and I am counting on the feedback from my friends and fans on what you would like to write me about. Please send me your comments and suggestions on what you would like to know more about and I am more than happy to blog about it. With that said, thanks for supporting this blog and see you around!

 

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