News An Email from Burma
posted by May 12 at 10:40 AMon
A friend forwarded me an email he received from his parents. “As you know,” writes this local actor, “my parents work at an international school in Myanmar, and they are staying there despite the devastation of the cyclone to help rebuild their school.” My friend asked me to post part of his mother’s email to Slog, a story that illustrates how badly used the the Burmese people are by their rulers. He also asked that I not share his mother’s name or any identifying information out of fear of retaliation.
[A co-worker] decided to go check on the family of a close family friend in one of the villages seriously hit by the cyclone. His own supplies were limited, but he wanted to take things to share with the victims of the storm. He gathered together some bottled water, a bag of rice and an old quilt that his family was no longer using.
When he reached his destination he started looking for his friend. He came upon an old woman shivering. He reached the quilt and offered it to her. She shook her head and said, “No, thank you.”
Quite perplexed the man pushed the quilt toward her and said, “Auntie (a local term of endearment), you are shivering. You need this blanket more than I do, please take it.” Again, the old woman shook her head refusing his offer.
Totally confused the man asked her why. She said, “Two days after the storm the men in uniforms came to our village with blankets, food and water. We accepted their gifts and posed for their cameras. When they were done taking pictures they took back the food, the water, and the blankets and drove away. I do not think that I can face such disappointment again.”