There are certain precautions that one takes as a solo female traveler. For example, when strangers first approach me, I’m usually a little skeptical. So when a Woody Allen doppelgänger, standing across the baggage carousel at the Yangon airport, looked at my passport and said “Hey, I’m American too,” I smiled, nodded, and wordlessly collected my backpack and went on my merry way.
The following morning, at the Bogyoke Aung San Market, I was seeking out money changers and heard a voice call out in English,“Hey, didn’t I see you at the airport yesterday?” Partially because he looked like Woody Allen and partially because he was one of only a handful of tourists I saw the entire time I was in Myanmar, I put some of my skepticism aside.
As it turns out, he volunteers for a sustainable development organization that works in the remote villages of Myanmar called the Shanta Foundation. Specifically, he has started several pig farms as a means of economic development for the villagers. And, he helped me find the elusive money changers.