Rarely does a traveler have the opportunity to witness change on the scale currently taking place in Burma (Myanmar). After the historic visits of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.N. Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon and the swearing in of Aung San Suu Kyi to Parliament, it is evident that transformation is eminent in this complicated land. Join your fellow Princetonians, October 23 – November 6, 2013, on its first program in Burma where you will at once experience and witness—in real time—the political shifts, commerce expansion, and cultural recognition transforming this region, while soaking in the area's natural splendor.
With a rich Buddhist culture, diverse ethnic groups, and an incredible physical beauty, Burma mixes the quiet charm of a 19th-century Southeast Asian country where time appears to have stood still with palpable changes and expansion in its modern cities. Beginning in fabled Rangoon, the Journey will continue to Burma's cultural capital of Mandalay onward to Inle Lake, revered as the magical land of the Intha people. The final destination, Pagan, is a breathtaking site where over 2,000 stupas have withstood the test of time. Along the way, the group will be joined by local writers, artists, and entrepreneurs providing a unique insight into the culture and life of Burma today.
Please note: This program is limited to 20 travelers.
Elaine Pearson *13 will serve as Princeton Study Leader for this Journey.
As deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia division, Elaine Pearson has supervised the organization's work across Asia, especially South East Asia. Based in New York, she regularly briefs members of the media, government, and UN officials. On Burma, Ms. Pearson has edited reports focusing on armed conflict abuses, sectarian violence, freedom of expression, humanitarian assistance after devastating Cyclone Nargis, and abuses faced by Burmese migrants and refugees. She has worked for the International Labour Organization, as well as the UN Development Fund for Women, and led the first trafficking program at Anti-Slavery International in London. Ms. Pearson writes frequently for numerous publications such as the Guardian, Wall Street Journal, and Human Rights Quarterly. Prior to joining Human Rights Watch in 2007, Ms. Pearson previously lived and worked in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Kathmandu, and London. Originally from Australia, Ms. Pearson holds degrees in law and arts from Australia’s Murdoch University and has been part of the 2012-13 Master in Public Policy program for mid-career professionals at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Relations at Princeton University. After finishing at Princeton, she will return to Human Rights Watch as Australia director, based in Sydney.