The once isolated nation at the culturally rich crossroads of India and China is a land that imbues even the most jaded traveler with a sense of wonder.
In Myanmar, government reforms since 2010 and the election of democracy activist (and Nobel Peace Prize recipient) Aung San Suu Kyi to parliament have propelled a profoundly gracious land, formerly known as Burma, onto the world stage. It’s about time.
Surrounded by bunches of bright sunflowers and chamomile, Rosa Lagla gently performs soul-cleansing limpia treatments in a market just a few blocks from Plaza de San Francisco, hub of Quito’s restored Old Town. Rubbing handfuls of stinging nettles, sweet herbs, and rose petals into the skin drives out bad energy, she says, working the plants to a pulp. With botanicals brimming from plastic bags, Lagla brings the Andean healing practice to guests of the newly restored Casa Gangotena on the plaza. Healer and hotel span two worlds, the traditional and the modern, both reinvigorating this city of 1.6 million.
In daylight, our big, blue marble is all land, oceans and clouds. The night, on the other hand, is electric. This video provides a narrated tour of some highlights of the new Suomi NPP Earth at night imagery. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
Hindus worldwide recently celebrated Diwali, a five-day “festival of lights” that marks the new year and honors the principle of good over evil. One Diwali ritual is honoring Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity. The occasion is also celebrated with fireworks, the sharing of sweets and gifts, and by decorating homes with lights and candles. Diwali is an official holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore, and Fiji.