Today was a very satisfying day. Having arrived in Nyaung Shwe at 04:30 three days ago, Hannah wasted no time in making contact with a local NGO organisation called ‘Inle Speaks’. This organisation runs courses and projects to support their local community.

Essentially Hannah volunteered my time to give a presentation for local businesses on they can best make use of Trip Adviser. Considering the rapid growth of tourism in the area, in particular with backpackers, this was a topic which would resonate with the local entrepreneurs.

It was also a subject which, based upon our recent adventures, and dependence upon the TripAdvisor app we felt that we could provide some insight into. Also, during our travels we had taken the opportunity to create listings for the businesses of some of the people that we have met. If necessary I would also help them in setting up or tailoring their websites to help establish their businesses.

The South marston website comes in useful again
Hoping that they aren’t being bored to death
Todays course ran to 2.5 hours long, even though only three businesses attended. Between Hannah and myself we were able to have a useful discussion on setting listings up (creating a listing for a massage business in the process), the best ways to handle reviews (both positive and negative), as well as ways to encourage customers to write more reviews and improve your business ranking. The input for this was greatly helped by an article by Fredric Gonzalo (worth a read). By the end of the presentation, we were pretty sure that all who had attended actually got some benefit from the presentation.

I even got to give some bonus training to Inle Speaks so that they could create and maintain their own website – not that they could stop me by that point.

These were opportunities to give something back, but also to interact with the locals on a deeper level – not on some business transaction level, but on a more meaningful and appreciative level. The satisfaction that comes from these activities greatly surpasses the time and effort spent in setting these up, as well as the friendships that we have made along the way.

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