Enote 100 – The Next Trip

December 21, 2013
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Dear Friends,

Tempertaures two to three degrees below zero, eight to twelve inches of heavily drifting smow, and gifts on our doorstep all remind us of Christmas and the approaching New Year. And for us that means: last minute mailings, airline tickets, visas, writing new announcements and scholarship application forms, contacting volunteers, setting schedules and in general preparing for our next trip to Asia; our twenty-third.

My treasurer tells me that your contributions continue to be strong and generous and that we can expect to do well this year. We and our refugee friends whom we support remain deeply thankful for your interest and generosity. Together, and with the help of refugee leaders in Asia, we have saved many people from ignorance and poverty.

We depart for Bangkok on Jan. 13, arriving there on the night of Jan. 14. After a couple of days to accomodate to the jet lag and to the delightful weather (75 °F or so), we leave for India on Jan. 17. We expect to be accompanied once again by Colleypaw, our Karen friend and volunteer. This year we expect to meet Melinda Jackson (Lindy) who a couple of weeks go, wrote us an email saying she had just arrived in Aizawl with her husband, and wondered if there was anything she might be able to do for us while she was there! Needless to say we were overjoyed.

In India our schedule looks something like this:

  • Week  1: Arrive Jan. 17 at noon; Review Scholarship Applications; Meet with Aizawl co-workers to discuss overall program; Interview new applicants; Meet with High School Committee leaders; Interview continuing students and new applicants; Report to police office; Meet with Chin Chin, Kimi, and Luni to discuss Aizawl and regional CSC programs. Lindy and Colleypaw will attend most of these meetings.
  • Week  2: Meet with CEP (college level classes 9 & 10) students discuss university prospects, and Khan Academy videos; Meet with CEP Committee discussing problems and possibilities for the coming year; Meet with ACEC students and ACEC Committee. Meet Chhungi and Pianga to discuss payments for next year; Meet Zothangsangi, the bone cancer paitent described last year in enote 92; Leave Aizawl at 3 pm.

Panoramic View of Aizawl
A Panoramic View of Aizawl Mizoram State, India

Back in Thailand we plan as follows:

  • Week  1: Pick up sort and review applications; Attend a meeting with all TReps to discuss new issues; Leave for Mae Sot.
  • Week  2&3: Visit Dr. Cynthia, Ehthwa (review IDP program), and the CDC school; Visit Mae Hla Refugee Camp (St. John's Orphanage, Hey Soe's College, and Saw K'Paw Shee's School); Meet Kler Day teachers; Visit Mae Ramat Boarding House; Visit the Maw Kwee Hill-tribe School (Meet with Tamla, Saw Lay Taw, Saw Cree and the School Committee); Attend Alumni Party in Mae Sot; Travel to Mae Hong Son and meet with Karenni Leadership on Teacher's Project and the Ban Nai Soi Community Learning Center; Return to Bangkok by way of Chiang Mai, and travel to Bangladesh.

Memorial At Hell Fire Pass
The WW II Memorial at Hell-Fire Pass in Thailand

In Bangladesh we spent only one week. Our plan is to visit the working children's schools in Cox's Bazar, and the schools in Kutupalong Refugee Camp. We will meet with John Littleton, Tin Soe and the Mukti leaders. In addition we plan to travel to Chittagong to interview one continuing student at the International Islamic University of Chittagong, and several other new applicants. We return to Bangkok Feb. 22, visit DEAR Burma the following day, and rest! Home bound March 7. That's the plan anyway. We'll let you know how it works out.

Kutupalong Refugee Camp
Part of the Kutupalong Refugee Camp in Bangladesh

By the way have you seen our new newsletter? It's now in color. I'm sure those of you who receive it will be pleasantly surprised. Those who don't get the newsletter it's a good time to subscribe. Just send an email to thomas.brackett@gmail.com. And have you noticed at the top Enote100. We started enotes in 2003, and they are all available in our archives.

Best Wishes to all,

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