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Burma Fundraising: Monday Update

This post about our Burma Fundraising project was originally published in 2008. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content. 

As the world back home in Canada wakes up to the beginning of a new week, we are winding down on a Monday night.

We are very tired.

Being all too aware that getting sleep and taking care of ourselves is very important, we are trying to make sure we are well rested and healthy. But with the time difference, knowing that family and friends at home are just waking up when we go to sleep and going to bed when we are awake makes things even trickier. Sleep is restless as we try to calm our minds and let things play out the way they need to. We try to rest during the afternoons, since we are most active in the mornings and evenings, corresponding with those at home.

All day we sat on pins and needles awaiting news of a meeting with the Royal Thai Air Force and Chiang Mai Rotary club. If waiting through the weekend was tough, every minute of today was tougher. Finally at the end of the day, TJ (our Thai translator, internet provider, and godsend) was able to reach the head of the Chiang Mai Rotary club for an update: we will get a call tomorrow morning.

We have to trust that everybody here is working as quickly as they can, and cannot help but feel continued compassion and pain for the daily suffering of those in Burma. It is now estimated that for lack of proper aid and supplies coming in, up to 1.5 million people are at immediate risk of dying. This gets uglier by the minute.

CNN finally got access to Burma, and although I can’t stand CNN in general, this incredibly disturbing video (no longer available) speaks for itself (be warned: it’s graphic).

This project has gotten very big; bigger than either of us: Two Canadians who just wanted to do something good, being so close (too close) to the devastation which increasing news access reports is much worse than originally estimated.

The people who have already come out of the woodworks to help us and make donations is truly touching. We have already raised close to $1,000, and we hope that as people begin their day on Monday morning they will rally much more.

The Thai Monarchy donated a C-130 airplane (the same kind we hope to attain) full of supplies to Burma on Saturday. The value of the goods was 1.08 million Thai Baht….about $32,000US. So we have set our fund raising goal at $30,000. We are already 1/30th of the way there….something to celebrate!

The Toronto Star has also expressed interest in our story, and we hope to converse with them shortly. Again (and unfortunately), the time difference makes it very difficult.

Nora Dunn and Kelly Bedford with their friend TJ in Chiang Mai, working together on a Burma Fundraising project

Our friend TJ, the owner of the internet cafe we have now donned “mission control”. He has given us unmitigated access to the internet, drives us anywhere we want to go, and serves as translator for communication with members of the Chiang Mai Rotary and Royal Thai Air Force. Without him this project would be considerably more difficult and expensive.

Click here to see all our Burma Fundraising posts so you can read the full story.

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