Enote 18 – Cynthia's Visit

June 07, 2005

Interested in visiting us on our next trip? Plan now.

January and February are the best times to visit Thailand. The weather is dry and comfortable. To fit in with a holiday or a business trip to Asia, you can arrange any duration from an evening in Bangkok with some of our university students, to an excursion of several days to the rural, border areas of Thailand and Burma. Living is simple and not expensive. We will be in Thailand from late January through the middle of March.

Please contact us if you have an interest. Our email address is: tomb@twcny.rr.com. We are always interested in having friends visit us in Thailand, or India when we are there doing work for the Foundation. Give it a try; you'll like it.

Please help us grow our community of friends of Burmese refugees. Introduce a friend to our enotes.

Dr. Cynthia Maung

Dr. Cynthia MaungA couple of weeks ago, we learned that Dr. Cynthia would visit the United States with a co-worker, Sophia Hla, who was giving a paper at a Global Health conference held in Washington. We also learned that she and Sophia could spend a weekend at our home in Hamilton. Needless to say, we were delighted.

For those of you who may not have heard about Dr. Cynthia, I will give you a brief biography. She received her medical degree from the University of Rangoon in 1985, and in 1988 she fled to the border of Burma and Thailand to help those struggling for democracy. She established a charity clinic near the border in 1989, and has continued to direct that clinic to the present day. In 1999 she received international recognition for her work by receiving the first Jonathan Mann Health and Human Rights Award, from former President Jimmy Carter, by receiving the American Women's Medical Association President's Award, and also by receiving the John Humphrey Award from Canada. In 2002 she was named one of Asia's Heroes by Time Magazine, and she also received the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership.
A DiscussionThe Bracketts have known Dr. Cynthia ever since their first trip to the Karen in 1992. One of our initial projects after the Foundation was started in 1997 was to help Dr. Cynthia build a school for the children of her staff at the Clinic, including her own two children and two she adopted. Now that Cynthia has achieved some fame, other NGOs have joined us in contributing to the school.
Saturday afternoon, we met Cynthia and Sophia in Syracuse. We were joined by Dr. Steven Scheinman who was interested in exploring possibilities for cooperation between his school, Upstate Medical University, and Dr. Cynthia's Clinic. That evening we held a meeting with a small group of advisors to our Foundation in Hamilton. There they had the opportunity to discuss the continuing situation of the refugees along the Burmese-Thai border. The picture shows Liz, Cynthia, Edward Vantine, Deborah Knuth-Klenck, and Richard Cheshire on the porch at our house.

On Sunday afternoon, we gave a party for Burmese refugees who had immigrated to the US, and settled in Syracuse and Utica. Everyone knew of her and some had even worked at her clinic. We lost count of all who came; it was well over one hundred

May Activities

  • Prepared and mailed Border Crossings Newsletter.

  • Gave talks: to the Rotary, at the Common Ground in Cazenovia, and at the public library in Hamilton.

  • Completed our financial audit.

  • Continued to deal with all the issues of over one hundred students in colleges and universities in Thailand.

 Best Wishes to all,

Tom & Liz

Your day is not finished until you've done someone a favor.