My first impression of Montana

BY: Tun Tun Khine

We were very warmly received by the US citizens one week ago. Most of the Missoula people are very friendly. They live in peacefully in a cold place. The reality of the Montana landscape is “more beautiful than I can say”. Really, it is very unbelievable to me.

We arrived in Missoula on 4thOctober, 2014. I never want to say, the distance to Montana is so far from our ASEAN region however, the distance between the people of Montana is not so far. If you want something, the positive experiences are worth the difficulties. This journey is so worth the difficulties not only for my life, but also for that of my country, Myanmar. I have no experience going aboard, thus, this trip is very exciting and has been in my heart for a long time.

I am so thankful to my government, the US Department of the State, US Embassy in Yangon and the Mansfield Center including Deena Mansour, Kelsey Stamm and all the professional fellows of the 2014 Economic Empowerment Fellows Program, Cohort 2. This week in Missoula, I attended many lecturers from many different departments at the City of Missoula. On Saturday and Sunday, I got more experience with Montana’s socio-economic condition. For example, we went to a second hand market, visited a country house and took a sightseeing trip to a lake.

I am so excited to go to my home stay in Bozeman. Some of us are leaving early from Missoula and some are leaving later. I am leaving a little later than other because my host family lives in Bozeman. Bozeman is far, 164 miles, from Missoula.

The Economic Empowerment Fellowship Program gives us more opportunities than many other programs. We get so much from it, such as the social culture of United States, their food style, their lifestyle , the weather in this section of United States and so on. Another great chance is that we can share our ancient culture, favorite traditional foods, hand crafts and so on.

The relationships between each country are based on how well their ambassadors communicate with each other. All our Fellows from the five ASEAN countries (Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam) serves as an ambassador for own country.

I want to speak to our Myanmar youth about my life experiences. If you want a bright future, you need to go where there is something different for you. Don’t be worried about anything. Don’t feel shy you can do no wrong. Don’t be sorry about losing things in your life, go forward to you goal. Our future is never, ever dark.

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