Why is it that we here in the West are sheltered from the needs of real people in S.E. Asia? Is it only me? Am I watching the wrong news?
Why was it that in the late '80's all I heard about was Cambodia?
Why did I think Asia's troubles were over after Vietnam?
Don't think that what's happening in Burma doesn't affect me, or that it doesn't affect you.
My children have Vietnamese cousins because of the Vietnam War and all of the immigration it spurred.
Will my Grandchildren be Burmese/Americans? Or Laos/Americans?
I don't want to be sheltered in my big warm house where I have too much food in my cupboards.
My heart is being tugged and pulled. I want to see these refugees with my own eyes and capture their beautiful faces with my own lens.
I want to share these images with you.
It is just not that far away.
To think that I was only a few hours away less than a year ago.
I almost crossed the border.
If I had more time I would have crossed.
The Karen are beautiful people. Warm, caring, compassionate, beautiful, hospitable. They are like you and me. No, they are better. They are more generous even though they have less to give.
Tomorrow I will wake up and send my children off to school where they will consume too many papers, do crafts, learn music, use fancy electronics.
While a Karen child will sit on a bamboo slat floor w/ 100 other children and only one piece of chalk and slate to share between all of them.