Today’s post is good-cause themed and to start, I’d like to share a very public dance instruction video I just recorded in Shibuya, Tokyo to raise money for Japan’s earthquake relief as well as the causes below. If you are receiving this article in an email and don’t see the video, click here to go to the actual post.
Timothy Ferriss is also offering a dollar for dollar match on a library building project, which is a no-brainer if you’re feeling the need to make a difference. I’ve seen foreign-funded schools and libraries built in the most remote places (e.g. 5 day trek into the middle of the Himalayas). Trust me, they make a difference. Moreover, his post triggered me to finish a half-written article I had sitting on my phone.
For those of you who have been following me on Twitter or Facebook, you probably know that I have spent some time in the past few months in Myanmar (Burma). Now that I’ve left the country, I can freely write about some of my reflections from my travels, albeit I run the risk of being banned from the country.
Myanmar was beautiful to visit, but my most memorable moments were not the sights I saw but my experiences with the people there. The Burmese people are genuinely honest and friendly, and for such an incredibly poor country, you’d discover that it’s surprisingly safe (well, except for the roads). It was really easy to interact with the people, and I found myself sharing my dance moves with the eager youth along with putting on the occasional village-gathering magic show.
However, through my conversations, I have shamefully discovered and confess that I have taken my education for granted. I know I’ve divulged in previous posts that I have some doubts on the usefulness of some facets of higher education, but basic education should be universally available and free to all.
In Myanmar, unfortunately, it’s not.
In a country where the average person lives on approximately $1 per day, tuition that costs $100 a year and up is flat-out unaffordable. On the surface, primary school is compulsory until age 9 (which is well below the international standard), but the reality is that parents have to pay school maintenance fees that start around $100 and increase each year. Families try their best to scrape enough money to send their children to primary