When we were planning our trip to Myanmar I knew that we were coming just before the first democratic elections that Aung San Suu Kyi has been allowed to run in since her release from house arrest last year. I felt very excited about this – to be here during what could be history in the making. Actually, it turns out we will fly out on April 1 – the day of the election. So if history is made – we unfortunately will miss it.
I would love to say that we have been engaging in deep political conversations with the locals, but to be honest just asking for a cup of tea has been a challenge as English is spoken only by a few.
But from what we have seen support for her is widespread and open. The streets of Yangon are lined with vendors selling Aung San Suu Kyi t-shirts and posters and we were able to buy a DVD of a recently made movie about her life called The Lady.
At the riverside town of Pyay we encountered a mini-rally at the night markets. Supporters handed out flags, t-shirts and other Aung San Suu Kyi merchandise while loud pop music blared from the speakers. With big smiles they beckoned us to come closer into the action asking us -Do you like Aung San Suu Kyi? Do you like Aung San Suu Kyi?” The atmosphere was charged with excitement and hope. It gave me goosebumps. Time will tell if real change will come.