The Tattooed Women of Myanmar’s Chin Tribes

I’m excited to announce that my new travel photography project is out! Called “Tattooed Women of Myanmar,” it showcases portraits of ethnic minority women with facial tattoos.

Though these women are now elderly, they were just teens when it was decided that face tattoos would enhance their worth. A week of intense pain and a lifetime with these markings made these few women immensely beautiful, and thus easily married off. While in Myanmar I was able to work on a project with several members of a remote tribe. In fact, I was the first person ever to photograph some of the women in remote and off-limits areas of southern Chin State.

I’m posting a few photos here, but you’ll get a better sense of the project’s scope by seeing it in its entirety.

To view the project, visit http://www.KathrynCooperPhotography.com/tattoos

I’m in Myanmar

Yes, I’m in Myanmar, where internet is just about as bad as the acne all the oily food here is causing. Too much info, sorry. But I will be back in March to write an inevitably scathing review of this country. Just you wait! Until then, enjoy a small photo and get ready for some beautiful temple landscapes, sunrises, and more!

Nicaragua: Interpretations

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It’s been a while since I wrote about how easy it is to travel abroad when given modern interpretations of signs, expressions, people, and the like. And given that most of my travel in 2016 was to Spanish-speaking countries—and no, I still don’t speak Spanish—you can imagine I had a very easy time getting around. How? It’s due to expressions and signs like these that made my life easier.

If you’re planning on going, or just want to catch up on the local lingo, here’s how to travel in Nicaragua:

“Express bus” [city edition] – A bus that can drive faster than you can walk, if your walking speed is measured in feet per hour, and that number does not exceed 500.

 

“Fan” – It is literally cooler to stand outside.

 

“Clean” – See that moving thing in the darkest corner of the bathroom closet? That’s no mop. That’s a mama cat and her 5 kittens you just discovered!

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“Shared bathroom” – A bathroom that’s empty with the exception of 5:30 AM to 8:30 AM, when the sounds of the housekeeper splashing water and buckets around, the parrot squawking, the kittens mewing, and the whole family basically starting to party is only outweighed by the how-many-times-can-one-gag-per-minute-oh-that-many man.

 

“Wifi” – How can the connection be this good in such a seedy place? Literally, it is better than I get in ‘Murica, and I can’t even make a joke about it disconnecting. I’m pretty sure certain jail cells are nicer than the room I’m in in this seedy part of Managua, but this wifi is spectacular.

 

“Hop-on, hop-off bus” – There’s no need to even use leg muscles to hop if you go around a good turn.

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“Volcano” – I seem to have been in many volcano-infested lands lately (Indonesia, Chile, Hawaii, Mexico), but here in Nicaragua you can literally drive your car to the top of one, walk 10 feet, and stare right down into a gaping hole of spewing orange lava and sulphuric smoke. What an awesome liability waiting to happen! [Taken on my cell phone just to show how close you can get]

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“Non-exclusive bus/taxi” – I hope you love butts and body odor.

 

“Did you hear the monkeys howling?” – No, because at 4:45 AM every morning, of COURSE I expect to hear a sound that can only be described as a dinosaur roar, dog bark, and woman being murdered scream all rolled into one, right outside my door! Completely not jarring. Oh, it’s kind of close.

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“Express bus” [countryside edition] – Driving in the other lane, i.e. the lane with oncoming traffic, until said oncoming traffic is seen approaching and is within 50 feet. Hello again, India!

 

“Luggage” – This woman’s live chicken, which she carried next to me, squawking, in her hand throughout boarding the ferry, the hour-long ferry trip, and then the 2.5-hour-long bus trip after that.

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“Breakfast” – Rice and beans, fried plantains, and fried egg, drizzled with cheese

 

“Lunch” – Rice and beans, fried plantains, and fried cheese

 

“Dinner” – Rice, beans, fried plantains, and fried cheese

 

“Monkey who just ate something sour” – this (photo)

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One day I’ll do a 2016 recap, but let’s be honest: That probably won’t happen until July. I’m hoping to travel soon, but until then, ta-ta!