From our dear friend Tabitha, who is supportive of our (every) project through and through. 🙂
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Dreamland Guesthouse is only the latest addition to this funky oasis of art and music in Mandalay. A collaboration between a talented contemporary artist and an inspirational local family has resulted in a lively establishment full of colour, melody, community and a palpable sense of freedom.
Dreamland serves not only as an affordable art and music school for the local community, but as a hub for social progress. They regularly host free workshops, lectures and exhibitions, limited not only to artsy themes like photography, drama and the like, but extending to human rights, and radio broadcast journalism training. They are doing their part to help Myanmar find its feet in a new era of relatively free (if questionably so at times) media. This is immediately apparent in the huge sculptures, once censored and hidden, that now dominate the façade around Dreamland, boldly proclaiming freedom of expression for the people of Myanmar.
But the best part about this story for me, is the amazingly capable family running the show here. Mom is an incredible artist in her own right whose paintings line the walls, while Dad is champion of eclectic business projects. Their multi-lingual five daughters and son, ranging in age from 14 to 24, have pretty much put the guesthouse together with their bare hands. Not to mention, they are all incredibly gifted in art, music and even literature.
From restoring old furniture, to literally building the rest from scrap wood, making all the bedding including the mattresses, and painting every inch of wooden panel, floor, wall and ceiling in their own designs, these kids have shown some impressive talent and know-how. There has been some serious DIY work done here, and all with a nod to sustainability as most of their materials have been recycled. My measly few sentences do no justice to the amount of work and heart that this entire family has contributed to this latest project. But you can feel it in the air.
Needless to say, our personal test drive of one of their dorm rooms gets 5 stars. Excellent comfort, cleanliness, spaciousness and privacy. Bonus stars for the creativity bursting out in all directions!
Tabitha is proud to be an honorary Mandalite having called the city her home for the past two years. She can be often be found reading, practicing yoga, searching for delicious new places to dine, and haunting the halls of Dreamland dabbling in music and art, and making good memories with the wonderful family there.