Enote 119                                                                 April 11, 2016

Dear Friends,

Last month we talked about old friends and the marvelous time we had visiting and saying goodbye, but we do not want to leave you with the impression that is all we did. An expensive trip which did not meet at least some of the needs of BREF would be a waste, and we couldn't let that happen. So this enote will report on some of the evaluation interviews and meetings we had with project directors. Also I should remind you that our son Chris was along with his son Brian and Erika, Brian's friend. Chris did most of the work of assessing, rejecting, and approving projects.

As NGOs have left the area, several schools have sprung up to meet the large need for education. Thoo Mweh Kee, TMK, is one of these that teaches in English medium. Beyond the high school level it teaches: a further studies program for those not wishing to go on to university education, a GED program geared to passing the US GED exam, which gives the student papers sufficient to enter a Thai university using English medium, and it is beginning a small BA program for those unable to attend a university. One of the interesting features of TMK is that it seeks to reconnect its students with their home villages with the intention that later they will return and assume a teaching and leadership role. We were able to attend a report from one Karen who had recently returned from his home village.

at Thoo Mweh Kee

Liz, Chris, Dermot, a Karen teacher, Brandon, and Erika at Thoo Mweh Kee

Later on our party traveled to Mae Hla refugee camp where we support a the ALCC (the Anglican Language and Computer Center). They had prepared a program with a twelve point agenda for us. Early on in the program was a speech by the retiring principal of the school. It was quite long, and by the end I was beginning to wonder how we would complete the day. Fortunately other agenda items were much shorter, and some were very entertaining like the Karen Doane Dance below.

Chria at ALCC

Chris reviewing ALCC Proposal

Doane Dance

Traditional Karen Doane Dance

Later on Tamla recognizing that this might be our last trip to Asia --you may remember that she was our first Karen host 24 years ago-- organized a big celebration for us at Maw Kwee. As part of that celebration a lovely young girl (see below) honored us with a recitation of our help to the Karen over the years.

Hsa Say Polo has a vegetable garden and a fish pond right next to her boarding house, and her boys showed us that it was not at all difficult to catch fish from the pond.

Finally a word about ethnic complexity in Burma. The Karenni, a small ethnic group related to the Karen is divided into nine subgroups as follows: 1.)Kayah or Red Karen (westeners call them Karenni); 2.) Kayan (a.k.a. Padaung the long necked tribe); 3.) Kayaw or Bwe; 4.) Karen or White Karen to be more clear; 5.) Manu; 6.) Makaw; 7.) Yintalay; 8.) Kayko; and 9.) Kayba. I show the picture of the class at BNSCLC because of the nine students shown at least five were from different subgroups.

Girl with tribute

Celebration at Maw Kwee

Fish Pond

Fish Pond at Hsa Say Polo's

 at Rosie's

Many ethnicities at BNSCLC

Well I guess that enough for today, except to say remember,
Horizontal Rule

Your day is not complete until you have done someone a favor.

Please Donate.


Best Wishes to all,