Sunday, March 6, 2011

Min Ma Haw

Min Ma Haw, post-10 school for Burmese refugees. My school.

The homework question was...

"If you had a cap of invisibility (like the one from Perseus and Medusa greek mythology), what would you do and why?"

Well, I imagine if you were to ask any class of teenagers in the US or other countries what they would do, you'd receive answers like, sneek into the girls locker room to the showers. Or sneek out every night to party with my friends. Or break in to a bank and get rich.

Well if you had a cap of invisibility, what would you do?
I didn't have an answer, but was pretty stunned by the answers my students presented. My students who are 16-22...

When my Min Ma Haw students read their individual answers aloud to class this morning, the answers seemed to range in a similar style, but definitely differed.
Their answers included

- "Return to Burma and sneek into prison and free all the political prisoners"
   Recent counts on the amount of political prisoners range very high, and most are imprisoned for no reason at all. Others for being pro-democracy. Others for simply standing against the Junta. I believe this website is based here in Mae Sot, an association to help the thousands of political prisoners ( I met a man last night who wrote a book I have, he was imprisoned for 17 years, many of those years spent in solitary confinement, and the others in torturous conditions.

- " I would return to Burma to see my girlfriend, even though she is in love with another man, I will go back because she is the love of my life and to steal her back and be with her"

- A handful of the young students said "They would sneak into the government/parliament and kill the head general of Burma and the members" in order to do the bad things to them that they've done to us.

- "I would sneak into a bank and rob it, and give the money to all the poor families"

- "I would travel around the world" These Burmese students have very few options of where they can go. They can't legally move around Mae Sot, a small city. If they are caught, even here in Mae Sot, they are sent back to Burma. The LAST PLACE in theworld they want to be. They can be in dangerous Burma, under risk of death, slavery, rape, beating, and fleeing, or they can stay here in Mae Sot. It is very unlikely these kids will see past Mae Sot in their life, unless Burma's regime ends.

- "I would go to the beach to see the sunset"  A novel concept, to someone who has never seen the beach.

There were other just as meaningul answers that kinda left me jaw-dropped. I couldn't believe that these kids, so young could have such a passion to change things, to do such good. I have a lot of respect for these kids,and hope that someday they can get their hands on such an 'invisibility cap' and do all the great things they want to...the world would be a better place.


Many of the issues are very hush hush in Mae Sot. Also, it is known that there are Burmese spies here looking for certain key individuals that have fleed and are attempting to start an uprising from Thailand. Don't worry people at home, foreigners are not in danger (including me- don't worry!) Everyday I meet somebody doing something interesting. A lot of NGO workers, or journalists, or aid workers are here. Yesterday I talked to a guy from Spain, a journalist staying here for 2 years. He is focusing on Burmese migrant workers and the horrible conditions they are put under because they are illegal.

I'm keeping my heart, ears, and eyes open still. I'm only sharing partsof everything that comes up, i know there is so much more but I can't rememberit all to write it down. I want to learn more. The situation is complicated and intricate, and what I learn here only seems to be a piece of the puzzle.

One of the most prominent helpers in Mae Sot- The Best Friend Library ( )

1 comment:

  1. you are a marval. you are truely a great person and doing a wonderful job. Very proud to be your friend.
    Keep up the great work.


Leave your comment and show your love here: