Education needs time – “The more we study the more we discover our ignorance.”

We all are also the product of our education and experience. We are young, intelligent and curious about the world beyond our own country. We have interests and ambition. We are comfortable with newness and change. We want to learn and grow. We are someone who wants to discover who we are and who we can become.

Fortunately, I got the opportunity from United States Department of State. SUSI program is designed for 20 undergraduates from Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. It is a great chance for me to explore the role that environmental policy has played in the economic and political development of the United States. We also have the opportunity to meet with local, state, private, and nonprofit organizations working in the field. I honestly say that I don’t have experiences in environmental issues. Now I learn and gain about environmental issues. Everything is new for me and first experiences. I love to learn environmental issues that give me too many knowledge and education.

Today we started our class at 9:00 am and finished at 5:00pm. I honestly say that today is hard day for everybody. We were tried and sleepy but we have learned a lot and gain too many information. We have learned ‘Natural Resources Conflict Resolution’, ‘What is conflict?’, ‘Alternative Approaches to Prevent and Resolve Conflict’, ‘Benefits of Need for Collaboration’, ‘Collaborative Approaches to Natural Resources Policy’, ‘Place of Negotiation and Facilitation in Collaboration’, ‘Negotiating and Implementing a Water Rights Compact’ and ‘Asbestos Contamination in Libby’. Among them, my favorite topic is ‘What is Conflict?’

In this topic, Speaker started with game ‘Win As Much As You Can’. Game is so simple to play. The objective of game is to explore the merits of cooperation and competition. We enjoyed the game very much and have fun. Conflict is a struggle between opponents over values and claims to scarce status, power and resources. Structural Factors, Negative Relationships, Clash in Interests, Competing Value and Problems with Data cause conflict. In organization, there is a lot of conflict.

Disadvantages of having conflict in organization is that people suffer from loss of appetite and sleep and also from general weakness and exhaustion brought about by stress and strain. People give up and resign from job and so many examples in real life. Instead of having conflict and arguing each other, we do need cooperation and negotiation. I do want to share ’10 Key Elements for Success’_ 1. Purpose driven

2. Inclusive

3. Informed

4. Deliberative

5. Consensus seeking

6. Accountability

7. Supplemental

8. Implementation

9. Adaptive management

10. Process managers.

At 5:00 pm we departed for Kalispell. On the way to Kalispell, we stopped for dinner at Hot Spot Thai Café in Polson, Montana by the shores of Flathead Lake. We took photos and enjoyed our dinner. Kalispell is beautiful and peaceful city. We saw the beauty of mountain and Flathead Lake. Finally we arrived at Red Lion Hotel Kalispell.

In my point of view, we live and learn in our host culture. Our experience will translate into tangible benefits later in life. Besides, we can experience another culture. Learn inside and outside classroom. Experience academic system of another culture/country, we will become well-rounded students. As a result, we will think more deeply, will discover the joys of life-long learning, will become an educated person who can entertain ideas that we do not accept, will integrate our traditional values with values that are essential in modern way of life, will embrace social responsibility and will become a valued member of community of people doing worthwhile things. Shall we create peaceful and beautiful world with our good inspiration.

Zin Maung Maung

Myanmar (Burma)