As a boatman, water is integral to my livelihood. This lake is such a big part of our lives; it is our life-blood.
My parents were both uneducated and my father was a paddy farmer. There are six children in my family and I’m the only boy. I thought perhaps I would take after my father’s profession but the Inle Heritage House opened up three years ago. They were inviting people to apply for jobs and I felt that by meeting tourists, getting some exposure and learning more about the world were better prospects for me in the long term. I think it’s important to be happy in one’s life and to find work that makes you happy and for now, I am happy here.
I’m married but don’t have children yet. If I do, I want them to have more educational opportunities than I did. If I were not a boat driver, I would choose to be a farmer. I really enjoy working the land and being outdoors and active. Perhaps I would consider growing tomatoes as well as rice. There is something so satisfying about growing and harvesting by your own hand, it makes you feel very connected to where you physically are.
Phyoe Naing Oo
Taung Po Ni Ywar