Arlene's Blog

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Friday December 23 Flight from Myanmar to Bankgkok

Sitting here on the Myanmar airlines flight, I’m amazed at the diversity of terrain and experience we have enjoyed during out two week stay in this “Golden Land.” Burma was the richest of the British colonies with mineral deposits, vast teak forests, plentiful flat rich soil, ports, a hard-working population including a wide variety of tribal peoples. But the history of this country has been tragic, especially since the 1962 military take-over. There is crippling inflation and little opportunity for the inhabitants.
Yet we met extraordinary individuals working hard to make better lives for their families and the country in the face of great difficulties.
I think first of a friend we met there who was imprisoned and tortured. Since his release, he has labored tirelessly and successfully to help the villagers in his area. He works with each village to decide what they need and then with their participation helps them obtain clean water, schools, roads, education about health, aids, family planning. Trekking in this region, we walked through clean prosperous villages where our friend had helped bring water to the village and desperately poor ones where he’d not yet worked. We also spent an evening at his hostel where some of the brightest children in the area live so they can go to middle and high school, not available in their villages. Listening to our freind talk of peace and foregiveness to those who tortured him and his countrymen, I think of Nelson Mandela and of Ghandi.
I have a number of ideas to try to assist our friend's work helping villagers from a variety of ethnic groups to a better life. I will write more about this soon.

Amazon Today: #5,694 in Books
(This is amazing. Breaking Trail seems to do better when I’m away!)


  • At 11:33 PM, Blogger Lady Base Camp said…

    Fresh, good water is indeed valuable, a simple but most necessary thing all over the world. Tomorrow I go get water. It comes out of the ground and runs along the hillside where dippers and kingfishers follow its course- no flouride, no chlorine. I will think of Burma when I am getting tomorrow and hope that the sharing of your ideas will be valuable also. I am very pleased you will share that with us.

  • At 8:44 PM, Anonymous Leah said…

    I am reading your book Breaking Trail to my three daughters and my son. It serves to show them how we can triumph over adversity and that we must never give up our dreams and aspirations. As a single mom of 4 kids, I believe you are as much an example to me as to them... Thank you. By the way, I just know there is a mountain out there that I will climb as soon as my children are old enough for me to go.

  • At 7:41 PM, Blogger Lady Base Camp said…

    I am missing the posts on this site. Breaking Trail IS a wonderful book. I too, am a single mom, with one 17 year old left. My climbing experience has been limited due to family responsibility and finances but I found a way around that. I joined Search and Rescue and the fire department and now have low angle training, and now I'm definitely one of the first willing to go down a ravine or off the side of the road in the dark. I have been a part of one rescue I am particularly proud of - Motor Vehicle Accident over a bank, where rescue breathing was administered and worked and the victim tied in after extracation. I still have lots to learn and I hope I don't grow too old, too fast. Wish I could turn back the clock only for that reason. Carolyn


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