Leaving Myanmar

Myanmar (Burma) is already past. While waiting in Bangkok airport for my flight to London I am hovering between the past and the present. My thoughts are still in this incredible country, my head is brimming with ideas, I want to describe the feelings, the images, I but I don’t know where to begin and where to end.

The Floating Bamboo Houses in Inle Lake.
The Floating Bamboo Houses in Inle Lake.

My mind is full of memories of tastes and smells of a world that I no longer belong. I am thinking of the people I met, wonderful, smiling, open, humble and so calm. Intelligent, hard-working people in a country that changes fast. The transition to democracy is not smooth, but there is optimism and that helps creating the energy to achieve things.

A Child Monk inside a pagoda/meditation centre in the mountains of Inle Lake.
A child monk inside a pagoda/meditation centre in the mountains of Inle Lake.

Perhaps it is the practice of the Kalama Sutta, one of the most liberated discourses of the Buddha, cited by those of the Theravada tradition of Buddhism that help people acquire the mental well-being through the overcoming of greed, anger and ignorance.

Mingalarba

Travelling in Myanmar no2 – Living every moment

I would like to write more about our trip in Myanmar but it is truly an overwhelmingly experience. Every day is so full with places, colours, smells, tastes and feelings … It it so difficult to find the time to put all these feelings and images into words.

But then that’s the whole point of travelling, right ? To enjoy every moment of the journey, and appreciate where you are at this moment. Perhaps when I am at home, I’ll sit down to write a few things about this beautiful place.

imageWomen beating the mulberry tree bark to make pulp. It is used to make the Shan paper, unique in the villages of Inle Lake in Myanmar.

Travelling in Myanmar

Children crushing nuts at the end of the harvest period in the village Min Nan Thu, at the vicinity of Bagan. Play time while helping the family

…………………

Travelling is the art of embracing what comes your way, an adventure into different cultures, languages, food, experiences…. It forces you to step out of your comfort zone, to open the mind to feel sensations such as gratefulness, patience, humility and awed wonder.

Ο φόβος

O φόβος είναι ένα περίπλοκο συναίσθημα. Από την μια σε προστατεύει σε εμψυχώνει, σε κινητοποιεί να αναζητήσεις λύσεις και σε βοηθά να απεγκλωβιστείς από επικίνδυνες καταστάσεις.

Ο υπέρμετρος φόβος όμως παραλύει και απομονώνει. Όταν η στρατηγική σου βασίζεται στον φόβο τότε καλό είναι να την χτίσεις με τέτοιο τρόπο ώστε να κινητοποιήσεις τους ανθρώπους θετικά για να αναλάβουν δράση. Αν το παρακάνεις υπάρχει ο κίνδυνος διανοητικής και συναισθηματικής παράλυσης. Ενας που δεν μπορεί να ελέγξει το φόβο του δεν μπορεί να λειτουργήσει.

From Lima to Paris with the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC)

On Sunday morning, following two nights of intense negotiations at the UN Climate Summit in Lima, all nations approved the final negotiating text and delivered an agreement that has a chance to succeed.

Known as INDCs (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions), it is based on countries’ commitment to propose the steps they will take to reduce their emissions. It is the first time that the countries agreed to bring together element s of a bottom-up system in which each country will put forward plans that aim to reduce global emissions enough to limit average temperature rise to 2 degrees C by the end of the century, a level scientists believe would avert the worst impacts of climate change.

The proposals will be assessed prior to the Parris Summit in December 2015. Such a process will help to ensure that objectives and principles are not lost out of sight and furthermore it will help build trust and accountability among countries and stakeholders. The requirements for a good INDC are to be ambitious, transparent, and equitable, so that each country does its fair share to address climate change.

It is good that we have an agreement and INDC is a move in the right direction. But we need to be more ambitious, to invest more in energy productivity, by raising corporate standards for energy efficiency, updating the energy efficiency standards for appliances and equipment and by improving the energy efficiency of buildings.

The silo effect!

In management jargon, “the silo effect” refers to a lack of communication and common goals between business units. It happens when individuals within a given division tend to interact more with employees in their own area than with employees outside them.

It is a specific mindset that reduce competence, morale, and productivity; it leads to isolation. It characterises organisations – from political parties to businesses – whose structure and communication is dominantly top-down.

Isolation is the obvious enemy of cooperation. In order to cooperate we need to tear down silos by moving past behavioural issues and agree to a common and unified vision. We need to set up long terms goals, build trust, encourage teamwork, engage and empower. We need to break out of the “my” mentality and into the “our” mentality.

Amazing Lisbon!

It was raining when I landed in Lisbon, a late afternoon last November. It was my first visit in Lisbon and though the visit was short, I fell in love with this beautiful, colourful and full of history city.

It is such a joy to walk through its narrow cobblestone streets filled with multi-stored, tiled houses with red roofs that makes you feel like you are stepping back in time.

It was also the first time that I have booked a place through Airbnb a quiet apartment in one of Lisbon’s cobblestone street. The experience has been 100 % positive; I will definitely consider it again.