I am taking a break from the stories I usually share of our travels to give you an update as to our activities. (Later posts updating our adventures in Bangkok and beyond will follow).
We are currently in Chang Mai, which is located in Northern Thailand. Last week, Cyclone Nargis, a cyclone of epic proportions blew through neighbouring Myanmar, losing steam shortly before reaching us. We are safe and sound, but there are millions of people a few hundred short kilometres away from us who are not.
Although this disaster may not be getting the same degree of publicity that other natural disasters get, please believe me when I say it is epic. It rivals some of the largest storms in human history, and the death toll is climbing ever upwards each hour of each day as the millions of people who have been displaced are literally starving to death in search of water and food, while swimming through flood waters littered with the dead bodies of tens of thousands of other unidentified people.
Being so close to this tragedy, we cannot continue on our trip as planned, blissfully ignorant of the suffering happening all too close to us.
As such, we have hijacked our trip agenda as it stands to see how we can make a difference. The Canadian Consulate is advocating for us to get visas into Myanmar to help, however given the political situation and our ultimate deadlines of needing to be in Australia in a month, we are not hopeful that this can happen.
What we can do, however, is to get supplies to the border. We have already established contacts here in Thailand to enable us to get a large truck and drive it to the border (and possibly beyond), full of necessary supplies. We have numerous people in Canada poised to give us money to contribute to our cause at a truly grassroots level.
We are experiencing the joy of networking….in a country where we barely speak the language and are struggling to adapt to and embrace the customs. We are learning to trust people again (as we always have), and know that compassion for others in pain prevails over all.
Fellow travelers are catching on to our project and providing assistance however they can. Offers for donations of money have been pouring in, but we are not accepting anything from anybody until we know beyond a shadow of a doubt exactly how we can help.
Ultimately we are looking for contacts in Myanmar who can meet us at the border and accept our supplies. We need to know what is required, and how to proceed. We are doing everything we can here to make this happen, and progress is slow but effective.
Please pray for us. If you can help with contacts, don’t hesitate to leave a comment for me here. Ultimately once we have a course of action we will be asking for money, but one step at at time.