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    Entries in shwedagon pagoda (2)

    Friday
    Aug082014

    An Offering of Light

    We’re big believers in the power of human imagination, and we constantly find that our customers’ ingenuity helps them put our products to good use in ways we’d never anticipated. 

    Take, for instance, Than Than Oo, who lives in Pan Taw Kyi Village in the Dry Zone. For the past five years, she’s run a small shop out of her house to support her three children while her husband works in Malaysia. With her savings, she’s purchased six of our solar lighting products. “A solar light is a one time investment,” she explains, whereas batteries were an endless drain on her income.

    Than Than Oo uses the solar lights for all sorts of expected uses: her children use them to study at night, and they also light up her shop. There’s one place in her home, however, where a solar light shines bright all night long.

    "I'm donating light to Buddha."

    She says this as she points to the S10 illuminating her family shrine. Than Than Oo is one of many Buddhists in Myanmar who include light among their religious offerings. 

    For years, Than Than Oo used to light candles around her shrine, even though it was expensive and dangerous. Household fires are all too common in the Dry Zone, where the smallest spark can cause whole villages to go ablaze. She now sleeps soundly at night, having only to press a switch to make her daily offering. 

    Pan Taw Kyi Village as a whole decided to switch over to solar for their village pagoda. During a novitiation ceremony, two families donated 6 lanterns for this purpose. There’s a twofold benefit to the new system: the lights are safer, and they also help the humble pagoda save essential funds it would otherwise use to purchase diesel. 

    While we originally anticipated that our lights would help families increase their productivity and save money,  our customers are constantly finding countless ways to use them to improve their every day lives. We're filled with a sense of wonder and appreciation to see our products integrated into intimate aspects of Burmese culture, and into one of Burma's main religions. Who knew that solar lights were so well suited for off-grid worship?

    Thursday
    Mar012012

    YANGON: Yetagon @ Shwedagon

    This month, Myanmar's most famous monument, the Shwedagon Pagoda, hit the big 2600.

    Faced with thousands of flowers to keep watered for the celebration, the grounds committee approached our drip team for advice. We obliged, and when we went along to the party, we found our lovely Yetagon banner floating amidst all the "coffeemix" balloons.