Ngapali and Thingaha

April 15, 2014

I’ve been given this gift of a week of relaxation, yet I’ve been finding myself counting down the days until I have to return to Sittwe and confront the mess that is the clean up of our totally ransacked office, doing inventory, filing reports, attending meetings, negotiating with complacent, indifferent Myanmar state officials, and of course living in a town where for the most part it seems the residents despise the international community.

I think about how I’ll always have to be looking over my shoulder, always have both of my phones tucked on my pockets and ready to make that emergency phone call if/when me or my staff are threatened or confronted. I got my Myanmar driver’s license last week, so I’ll now keep our organization’s truck with me at all times. Travel on my bicycle through the center of town?  I think not. Well, I don’t have a bicycle anymore anyway. It was trashed during the riots. I don’t think I’ll replace it.

Haven’t seen pictures of what our office looked like after the riots?  Check out my post here.

But it’s Tuesday and I still have four and a half days of relaxation ahead of me. I landed at the Thingaha resort for two nights because the much more humble place I booked until the 19th didn’t have space on the 14th and 15th. Everything is totally booked here in Ngapali for the Thingyan holiday, but I found a place for two nights until I return to the Pleasant View Resort. Thingaha is a new resort, hasn’t even had its grand opening and I’m among about 10 other tourists in a place that could hold hundreds. So once again I’ll forego the words and let the pictures do the talking. I’m only starting to realize how much I needed this break, just a few weeks after I enjoyed three short and beautiful days in the Similan Islands. That vacation cut short by the news I received when I got off the boat about the riots in Sittwe.

At least until Friday, you’ll find me by the pool or digging my toes in the sand and surf. I’m already discovering a lot of emotions percolating around the horrible humanitarian situation in Rakhine made worse by the riots that destroyed nearly every humanitarian office and left the internally displaced people we serve worrying for their safety and wondering whether they’ll have enough food until the government permits the supplies to move again. More on that later…

I hope your day brings you joy, brightness, love and peace. God knows, we all need more of it in this world.


Gardens at Thingaha

Lush gardens at Thingaha


Possibly my favorite flower – the Frangipani

Photo Apr 14, 12 45 46

Photo Apr 14, 12 41 00

Photo Apr 14, 12 46 54

Poolside at Thingaha

Poolside at Thingaha

Photo Apr 14, 12 12 11

The view from poolside

Beach view from poolside

Photo Apr 14, 12 22 37

High tide surf

Photo Apr 14, 12 25 03

Fool moon in Ngapali

Fool moon over Ngapali

Around the Thingaha at night

The next few pictures: Around Thingaha at night

Photo Apr 13, 22 26 01_2

Photo Apr 13, 22 23 43

Yes, here I sit in comfort and luxury while my beneficiaries sit in squalor and fear. The guilt is not lost on me.

Photo Apr 13, 22 42 33

Photo Apr 13, 22 40 39

Photo Apr 13, 22 37 07

Photo Apr 13, 22 50 55

My last picture for the night before I slip into my room and bid adieu to the day.

Photo Apr 13, 22 58 07


All content copyrighted © Stephen Tavella

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