The massive Inle Lake is dotted with traditional houses along the banks and floating villages. Though Inle Lake is in the heart of the Shan States, there are several ethnic groups living in an around the waterways, and everyone makes a living off the plentiful fish and other natural resources that abound. Hit the waters as we explore a bustling morning market and the vibrant villages on the shores of the lake. Find various local handicrafts, speak with vendors, and witness Inle Lake’s diversity firsthand.
Visit the homes of some Rustic staff members, discovering the historic sites around the lake and understanding the impact that tourism is having on the lake, the local residents, and the economy. Interview locals and hear the experience of local minorities within the Shan State.
At the end of each program, students reflect on their experiences and the issues they engaged with, and talk about how to apply this new understanding to their own worlds. During or after their closing discussion, groups participate in Rustic Ties, a unique and powerful activity that allows students to capture the memories and learning moments of their program to process and share with their communities back home.