Enote 27 – Daw Cha DawMay 03, 2006
Well, we made it back home. The flight seems to get longer every year. This time we left our residence in Bangkok around 5am on March 21 –temperature 95 ºF, and arrived, courtesy of Ed Sitts, in Hamilton about 12 midnight –temperature 35 ºF, after over 30 hours of travel. We eyed with longing, news of a Thai Airways non-stop flight from Bangkok to New York City of 17 hours. Also we are eyeing first class, but that’s just a dream.
Have pictures; have projector; will travel; will talk:
Just to let you know that Liz and I give several talks each year about the terrible situation in Burma, of the plight of the refugees and internally displaced people, and what we are doing to help. We would like to come to your community and meet your friends. No place in the lower forty-eight is out of bounds. If you think there is an audience which may be interested in hearing us, and you are interested in having us, please send us word. We can help with announcements, advertisements.
Each year we schedule a Board of Trustees Meeting shortly after we return, so that we may discuss our trip and bring the Trustees in on decision making for our annual grants for projects and scholarships. We make reports on: the trip, the endowment and fund-raising effort, the study grantees, the interns, and the projects. We also wrote the Annual Report for 2005. This is posted on the web site.
Paw Eh Hser & Taw Cha Daw:
Taw Cha Daw is a Thai word which translates roughly into border police. But it means much more than we understand by the word police. It is an organization, which reflects the best of the Thai people. Supported by the royal family, Taw Cha Daw is devoted to care for the border people in many ways including health care, education, agricultural service, emergency rescue, and community development.
The day before we left Mae Sot, Paw Eh Hser, a graduate in 2005 and the subject of our first enote, came by to see us, and to tell us what she is doing. ( We see her on the left in a picture taken in 2003, and below right in a picture taken last March.) As a member of Taw Cha Daw, she took many training sessions and tests, and showed us a portfolio of pictures and certificates of accomplishments since her graduation. We saw an award by the princess, certificates of completion of courses in education, delivery of babies, vaccination, and a picture of her suspended about thirty feet in the air by a rope from a helicopter —presumably something to do with emergency rescue. It was very impressive. Working in Taw Cha Daw allows her to work with her Karen people (both Burmese and Thai Karen) using both her language skills of Thai and Karen, as well as her many skills learned in studying Community Development with our help in Rajabhat. I'll close with a few words from Paw Eh Hser's original application to us for support.
At present I have been studying at Rajabhat Khamphaengphet University for two years in weekend school. I have to study another two years to finish my degree Bachelor of Arts. I really need your help for continue my study. Because if you do not help me, I cannot support myself, and my parents also cannot send me to continue my study and I have to leave school this year. … Now I have last chance that apply your scholarship. I hope you will help me to continue and finish my degree. I know that I can continue my study and finish only for your kindness. I am strongly look forward to you.
(Note it costs about $500 a year for her to study at Rajabhat.)
Mar. 22-Apr. 7: Writing reports, preparing agenda for Trustees.
Apr. 6: Met with Hoppy and Judy Winfield to review trip and future.
Apr. 8: Board of Trustees Meeting.
Apr 10: Prepared a talk on our last trip.
Apr. 22-23: Visited our son and daughter-in-law, Ted & Penelope, to give a talk to his friends, and at his church on our work with the refugees.
Apr. 29: Gave a talk to a Global Missions Group of our church.
Apr. 30: Attended a talk given by the Winfield's on their work with us in Thailand.
Best regards to all of you, and please think about 1.) visiting with us next year, and 2.) having us down for a talk.
Tom & Liz Brackett