My Family Escaped
From the Jurassic Park in Myanmar

I promised my family that live in Taunggyi, Myanmar that I would be back during my winter break from teaching, which is less than six months from now. I was working on my itinerary for my trip, making my plane reservations, getting a visa, and booking flights to and from Yangon. In addition, I am working on getting a person to take care of Ginger while I am gone. Then there is the organizing my classes so that I’ll be ready and well-prepared for leaving at the end of the fall semester. Also, I hope to have all my materials ready for my classes in the spring semester of 2020. This will be the tenth time that I have done all this juggling of things in the past two decades. On average about every two years, I want to travel and see the world. Or to quote Willie Nelson, “I can't wait to get on the road again.”

On the road again
I just can't wait to get on the road again
The life I love is makin' music with my friends
And I can't wait to get on the road again On the road again
Goin' places that I've never been
Seein' things that I may never see again
And I can't wait to get on the road again Here we go, on the road again
Like a band of Gypsies we go down the highway
We're the best of friends
Insisting that the world keep turnin' our way And our way is on the road again
I just can't wait to get on the road again
The life I love is makin' music with my friends
And I can't wait to get on the road again, break free
And I can't wait to get on the road again

I have never taught a class in the past couple decades that I haven’t mentioned the educational value of travel. Students can learn a great deal from books. However, traveling moves book-learning from a two-dimensional to a three-dimensional experience. Traveling will teach every student a great deal that can’t be found in textbooks. If you wish to be well-educated, travel…especially outside North America.

This will be my third trip to Myanmar in the past six years. Initially, I went to Myanmar, which used to be called Burma, to interview Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the Lady. I didn’t achieve that goal, but I met a young lady. That young lady is my granddaughter, Ti Ti along with two younger sisters and her parents are my family. Several months prior to returning to Myanmar the second time, Ti Ti emailed me about writing a poem about our relationship.

I still am attempting to contact someone who can get in touch with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. However, while that has been my goal for a couple of decades, the paramount reason for returning to Myanmar is my family. In the twilight years of my life, I have had four axial moments or periods, which have radically changed my life for the better. Meeting my family is one of them. I gained so much from my family; my words can’t carry all the emotional feelings that I have for them.

Interestingly, while attempting to get all my ducks all in order, I got a picture from Moh Moh, Ti Ti’s mother and my daughter. She didn’t have time to explain the photo. I assume that she was so frightened about being chased by some Jurassic Park dinosaurs that somehow managed to get to Myanmar.

Here I am in America, and I couldn’t help them. Obviously, they managed to avoid the onslaught of the several dozen different dinosaurs trying to devour my family. They are yelling in Myanmar, “Free at last, free at last.” They were relieved that they managed to elude the huge carnivores without me. I will surely hear their tales of terror when I return. Nonetheless, they were able to escape all those beasts in Jurassic Park. When I return during winter break, I don’t think that my family will take me to that Jurassic Park. I will enjoy just seeing them again. I look forward to talking, laughing, and just being with them. Besides, Ti Ti has challenged me again at Scrabble. This time, I will be able to beat her.