Friday, September 14, 2007
This is Day Htoo's older sister and her child, Day Htoo is the nurse in the film. They really look alike. I met her on our second trip through Muthraw District, she and her family were fleeing to the border. Day Htoo was in another area at the time and I was half glad, because for me it was very sad to see. If you look on the surface there are very evident losses and it can get you down. However the longer you spend inside and the more you care about them, you start to get some of their laughter and well being rubbed off on you. They have resolve and resilience. Maybe it's a human trait of grace under pressure, but it must be especially true for the Karen.
This young man came and met us a days walk from where the 600 villagers were hiding in Mone Township. He was internally displaced himself, and the other man in the picture, both living in the jungle with the other 600. He volunteered to come and help carry medicines and aid back to the other villagers. He is the one in front of me near the beginning of the film when we are walking through the dense jungle. That area was full of leaches and he tapped me on the leg once to tell me there was a leach on my leg, I got to it before it could get fixed and draw blood. When you get one before they make you bleed it's a victory. So big thanks to him, and for his willingness to help his fellow villagers. It takes people like this for the Karen to stick it out. The good news is most the Karen I met are like this.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Here's a three minute excerpt from the 28 minute film "Prayer of Peace: Relief & Resistance in Burma's War Zones". This section of the film was the end of the first trip, crossing the Burma Army controlled car road and witnessing hundreds of villagers fleeing to Thailand in Mutraw District on the return trip. Both times I was in that area we met villagers fleeing, at the beginning of the film and here on our return. The man who speaks (Maung Hla Htoo) really deserves a film unto himself. But suffice to say he is a hero. UPDATE: Watch the whole film at http://vimeo.com/channels/prayerofpeace