Enote 49 – ZokhawtharJanuary 21, 2009
Back From India:
It is January 19, and we are back in Bangkok relaxing after our tenth trip to Aizawl, India. As Liz says, it’s not an easy place to visit, and we breath a sigh of relief on returning to a warmer, cleaner, and just more livable Thailand. But we always return to Aizawl, and will continue to do so as long as we are able, because the people are wonderful, because the need is so great, and because just our simple return brings happiness and encouragement beyond all expectation. As I’ve said before, it’s called small-time, hands-on foreign aid.
In the picture Laldimawii on the left, a school teacher and an important partner in our work, is showing Liz grade reports of students we support in Zokhawthar. While on the left Lalsiampuii, a pharmacy student of ours who has just graduated from Mandalay, is helping translate from English to Mizo.
Later, when the discussion turned to budget and what we could do next year, Laldimawii gave a very affecting plea for the needs of her students. Considering what we could afford and the work load required, Liz had suggested limiting the support to ten new students, but realizing the people’s needs, Laldimawii could not bring herself to agree to less than fifteen.
Back in Aizawl we interviewed many students who are studying with our aid. We saw eager future nurses, businessmen, engineers, and even some hopeful doctors, but none so considerate as this young man. Lalremruata asked us to give his support to someone else! He explained to us that he was able to secure a part-time job drawing cartoons for a book, and could make about 3,000 Rs. a month, and that would give him enough to support himself in college in Aizawl. What could we say, except that’s a very fine sentiment and thank you. We did ask our teachers to keep an eye on him and tell us if he loses his job and needs more money. Incidentally, Liz tells me that he wears his hat to hide a very striking array of dreadlocks.
Jan. 07: Arrived in Bangkok at 12:35am after an exhausting flight from the US.
Jan. 08-09: Flew to Calcutta then to Aizawl arriving about 12:30, pm this time.
Jan. 10: Meet with teachers from Lunglei and Lawngtlai, about new venture supporting high school students in these locations.
Jan. 11-12: Interviewed continuing and new students, and CWOs from various regional districts.
Jan. 13-14: Road trip to Champai and Zokhawthar, on the border with Burma, to meet with teachers, CWO Champai, students, and committee members.
Jan. 15-17: return to Aizawl and meet with CEP students, ACEC students and committee.
Jan. 18: Fly to Calcutta and to Bangkok arriving at the latter 2:15am Jan. 19. (This early morning stuff has got to stop.)
Present: Liz, Tom, and Judy Noyes are evaluating student applications, and planning the Kanchanaburi trip with Chris, and David and Barbara Shirley.
We are always interested in your ideas and suggestions. Please contact us at any time.
Best wishes to you.