Just like that another year ends, and another one begins. 2017 ended quietly, with my sneaking one last big work trip in before falling off the map and into secret coves of the Pacific. I'm skipping the retrospective post about the year, instead looking at what lies ahead.
This month I penned my first article for the Washington Post's foreign desk, taking a look at the Rohingya reparation deal. The deal lacks foresight and further jeopardizes the lives of over half a million people.
In December I found myself in central Bangladesh, working for the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) to photograph and write about their Kit 8 project, which helps women seeking menstrual regulation procedures have access to necessary healthcare.
I may have been detained by immigration on my way in, and there might have been a giant spider in my room for a straight week, but it was a trip I felt grateful to be on and a subject I feel needs as much attention as it can get. A full edit will be available on IPPF's website in the coming weeks.
My latest piece for National Public Radio took a look at who is- or isn't- sitting in Myanmar's tea shops these days. Hint: it's not young people or women.
Radio France International interview had me go live for their morning news program, discussing the mass grave confessed to by Burmese authorities, the current plight for the jailed Reuters journalists, as well as the current state of press freedom and reporting in the country. I also went live on television for TRT World discussing some of the same topics- but I'll spare you that bleary-eyed video footage.
A few weeks before I was interviewed by Mumbrella Asia editor Eleanor Dickinson about how the government is cracking down on journalists and press freedom. I usually shy away from giving interviews, but with the state of things in Myanmar I figured it's time to set my shyness aside and use the voice I'm fortunate to have.
Doh Athan, Frontier Myanmar's weekly human rights podcast, also had me voice the English version of their episode discussing press freedom in Myanmar. It was my first time in front of the mic rather than being the silent producer on the other side of the recording booth.
And of course I'm still wandering around Yangon, snapping photos of everything from nurseries, to postal offices, to side streets filled with fried-food stalls. I've got a new apartment that needs a lot of work, but looks like it'll be home as long as I'm allowed to stay in Myanmar.
I'm off to the deep south of Myanmar this week, the Irrawaddy delta after that, and already have a few projects in the works that will keep my camera clicking and my fingers typing.
2018, let's go.