I am at Myanmar
Daniel Goring to Burma
Thanks for your email and warmth and offer of aide through your pal Daniel. I have one cousin left in Burma and she seems to be OK. Her father, my uncle died several years back and most of her relatives had to leave Burma due to their support of Aung San Suu Kyi and the demonstrations that they were a part of. Laura M who is there and holding down the fort had the roof blown off but is on her way to getting it replaced. Lucky for all, right before the cyclone had struck we had managed to get her some $ (thanks Mom) through the Burmese network of friends and relatives in the States and Burma. We are grateful that all our friends and relatives in the country are ok and accounted for. I'll include an email from another cousin. It shows how the networking is making progress. It is a huge job praying for the delta people. I find that my meditations are helped by creating portals of light for the "lost" souls to head to. It seems that telling them their loved ones are waiting on the other side for them help take away the fear of moving on. So many are in shock! I'm glad you will have a trip to Wash. Have a wonderful time with your mother. I hope that her new digs are pleasing and she makes nice friends. And have a good time with the Karmapa! You have a grand sense of timing! Love to you and thanks for thinking of my family. Good luck to Daniel. I wish I could have given him some help but I think that the best thing is for him to go through the channels that be and therefore not put anyone there in a suspicious light. So sad to see what that country has been reduced to by the junta. Tell him that medicine is what's needed...there seems to be lots of Doctors on the ground but not enough medicine. Blessings dear one and know that I love you so very much! OXO Lisa Lemuria
PS> A letter from my Burmese cousin in Italy....
Dear friends ~
Cyclone Nargis devastated the Irrawaddy Delta and hit other areas including Yangon (Rangoon) on from the night of Friday 2 May until Saturday 3 midday. With telephone and electricity lines cut, people dashing all over Rangoon looking for water and supplies, my friend Ohmmar managed to send out an email with news. At that stage, the first days after the cyclone, she like everyone else was totally preoccupied with the devastation in their immediate vicinity.
Gradually the city people learned the extent of the destruction in the Delta, where lie Burma's paddy fields which feed the entire country, and in the days of the British, from where rice was exported all over the world.
On 12 May I received a second email from Ohmmar, I will send out the translation in a separate post.
I will add to this site the news that she manages to send out. I have just received this morning, Saturday 17 May, an email from her (in Burmese, which she scans and sends from an internet cafe) while watching her son set out in the cab of a truck loaded with clothes, rice and other provisions; the truck is part of a convoy, with 3 others, one a pickup with more provisions, and 2 vehicles with 20-30 men. They should now be, insh'Allah (the Authorities), in the Delta.
A portion of the $1000, consisting of contributions from many of you, that I sent on Wednesday 13th, has put some of the provisions on that truck which set out this morning from Ohmmar's neighbourhood in Yangon.
It is part of her community's effort. The rest of our money will be used for next week's delivery. The help has to go in small amounts to the Delta, in order to pass the gauntlet.
If you look around on the net, there are many Burmese from abroad acting in tandem with relatives and friends in Burma, and some have gone themselves. MoeGyo is one such group, it is worth keeping an eye on what they are doing:
Ohmmar's son and daughter-in-law are both doctors. Her daughter-in-law specialises in infectious diseases. Ohmmar worked for years with a very strong charity in Yangon which has a free medical clinic attached to a lively service providing free funerals, I visited the place last autumn.
Part of the money we send will be used for food, the other for medicines; Ohmmar's daughter-in-law, together with her close associates, are organising themselves to go to the Delta, to give medical help and innoculations.
Update, Monday 19 May : Ohmmar emailed another telephone number this morning; I got through immediately. I had been trying in vain to reach friends and family in Yangon since the 4th.
She and husband found that of all the wires pulled off by the enormous tree felled in front of their house by the cyclone, there was one line still intact, one of their building's telephone lines still working, it was an unused line loaned to a neighbour's house.
As she put it when I got through on this number this morning, "We can't wait for them to connect us, we did it ourselves!". Well, still no water, no electricity from the authorities, and this is very central Rangoon, next to the Royal Lake.
Rangoon is DIY (Do It Yourself) zone. It has been for a long while, in fact, that is how people now are so much on the ball.
Money is being given and collected locally, at shops and internet cafes too are collection-points. People are donating their own clothes, their rice, what money they can spare.
Ohmmar told me of the Saturday 17th trip, her son's group made it as far as Pyapon, the road on from there to Bogalay was too bad for this trip. But there was plenty to do in the Pyapon area. A driver delivering supplies, after giving the 3 spare shirts he had with him, took the shirt off his back and gave that too. Some people are not able to come to queue for food, because they have no clothes.
One of the many stricken people there is a man who sits immobile all day long. Only if he is prodded to eat, he eats. He is in shock. During the cyclone, he held on to his two children, one in each hand. He himself was wrapped around a tree. He held on to them all night, and by morning he knew he could no longer hold on to both. He had to decide which one to let go. As he reached his decision, he lost both.
This coming Saturday 24 May, a group formed by Ohmmar's daughter-in-law (a doctor specialising in infectious diseases) and her close associates are heading for the Delta. They were called there last week by their hospital, but when they got there, there were no medical supplies to work with. Now they are organising themselves. The rest of the money I sent last week (largely from the Catalan taiji friends, together with Swiss and Italian friends who offered unsolicited donations) is now being used to buy medical supplies.
Dear friends, please know that my Yangon friend and her family, together with people in their community, are only a few of many many individuals and groups in Burma gathering what they themselves have and getting it to the survivors of the cyclone. Foodstuffs are being donated from all over the country. People are aware that soon there will be rice shortage all over the country, and while they still can, they are doing all that is in their power.
Later this week, I will send through another direct route (Burmese have relatives all over the world!) a second contribution. Some money is already collected; I have been waiting to see what happened to the first lot before organising more to be sent.
Labels: Burmese cousin
Daniel Goring to Burma
had a nice talk story with charlie today..said lu was coming to help him expand the garden..i'm sure it's beautiful and bountiful! naturally, i've been thinking of your family in myanmar and sending my prayers their way...glad to hear that they are mostly ok...
daniel has received permission to go into the country to provide medical aide... thought you may wish to send something with him..or at least give him contact info for your family so he could take photos...is your uncle still the minister of rice? i understand the rice paddies were badly damaged..yikes..
this is an e-mail to connect you folks...i will see daniel and mamabear here on kauai tomorrow...and we will be together on o'ahu for a wedding of one of our cambodian kids on saturday...i will be enroute to seattle to take mother to an assisted living center on mercer island, washington...the timing coincides with his holiness
karmapa's visit and teachings in seattle! i will be attending with my friend, jesi, what a blessing!..look forward to a long talk story after i return (5 june)...
lots of love,
The Junta Government agreed to allow medical teams from Thailand to go into the country with the understanding that the Junta is not in the position to provide lodging or anything to facilitate the work of our medical teams. !!!! Survival bags we sent were welcome and they asked for more. However, financial help is their preference!!!!
Now troops of Burmese monks came to get aid and medical supplies for their people at Mae Sot. (The sure way that the aid will get to the affected people). Since every hour counts, while waiting would it be worthwhile to send necessary items to Mae Sot first?
Wish Airline Ambassadors can soon launch their humanitarian mission.
Much love, sumitmai
Dr. Susott's visa
Dear Lei Lei,
The Myanamar Embassy called yesterday regarding Dr. Susott's visa, but he still has to mail it to them before they can grant it....He will NOT be able to get it organized by the 19th as hoped, so we will wait to debrief with you before planning a formal trip.
There are about 30 MD's and others who are interested in volunteering- I am advising them to get their visa's ready so we can make a plan after your return if needed. I am so happy that you are going into the delta tomorrow and cannot wait to hear your report on how we can be of the most service.
All the Best,
President, Airline Ambassadors
Labels: Nancy Rivard
Tree of Life Foundation
'It was good to talk to you today and thanks to the Tree of Life Foundation for trying to help the people of Mynamar! I have just received an email from Lei lei Thein, who is coordinating our work there......that our teams cannot get into the disaster areas right now.....so we are keeping our volunteers on hold.
We CAN get donations through Customs until May 24. There are needs for food, water purification or unexpired medications..
If you can get these donated in Florida, we can ask United Airlines and Thai Air if they could donate freight for this humanitarian response. I am ccing contacts above that may be able to help as well. Let's try for 1000 lbs of donations to start.
All the Best,
President, Airline Ambassadors
Labels: Nancy Rivard
Leilei who has arrived in Myanmar
Today we got an email from Leilei who has arrived in Myanmar: she says nobody should come now, the NATIONAL POLICY is "none of the rescues and helpers are allow to work near the crisis areas".
The first US Cargo plane was allowed in today, and a Red Cross ship carrying supplies for 1,000 people sank en route to the affected areas yesterday...
I have just arrived in Hawaii with my mother, who turns 89 on Friday. I am standing by to leave for Myanmar on 17 May (Deborah Quigley organized the tickets already! She’s the BEST!) but it appears that’s not happening, yet...
Aloha and best wishes, Daniel
Daniel Susott, MD, to Myanmar?
Dear Lei Lei:
I am happy to be able to support this effort, thanks to Nancy Rivard putting us in touch. I have been the Medical Director of Airline Ambassadors for some years, although not currently until now. Last year I helped deliver aid to Peru after the earthquake as part of the early AAI mission.
I am a medical doctor with a specialty in Public Health and Preventive Medicine. I coordinated health care in all the refugee camps in Thailand form 1979-1981 and again in 1982 with the United Nations Border Relief Operation (UNBRO) on the Thai-Cambodian border. I co-edited a book YEARS OF HORROR, DAYS OF HOPE: Responding to the Cambodian Refugee Crisis in 1986. In the mid-80's I was the Senior Physician Consultant to the AIDS Initiative for New York City's Health and Hospitals Corporation.
I founded the World Family Foundation in 1989, which has provided development aid in health and education in Cambodia and found adoptive families for over 1,000 Khmer and Thai orphans. We continue programs in education, literacy, micro-credit, and oral health inside Cambodia. In 2004 I was involved in tsunami relief in Sri Lanka and was recognized as the Red Cross' "Medical Hero" for 2005 in the Central Coast of California.
In recent years I have worked with various international volunteer efforts, including with the Flying Doctors on missions to Central America. Last year I served with the Aloha Medical Mission on the US Navy's hospital ship MERCY, (Pacific Partnership) serving in East and West Timor. I was also a month in Tibet with Nomad Medical Clinics and Buddhist Pilgrimage, as well as in the Amazon with Amazon Promise doing a needs assessment and offering medical services for remote jungle tribes. My "day job" for the past 5 years has been with Doctors On Duty, urgent-care clinics around Monterey Bay.
I speak Thai, Cambodian, Spanish, French, German, and some Russian, Chinese, and Burmese (not really Burmese yet - but give me a few weeks!)
I visited Burma in 1982 and was completely enchanted, always wanting to return, but never able. My website is www.danielsusott.info.
I would also like to request visa for Dr. Erick Roberto Sosa Aldana, Guatemala. He is very experienced with humanitarian medical services in rural settings and is an excellent physician.
I am looking forward to working with you in the time ahead providing relief services to the people affected by this calamity in Myanmar.
With best wishes, and thanks,
Daniel Susott, MD, MPH
9 May 2008 Carmel, California
Labels: Myanmar Cyclone
Nancy Rivard to LeiLei
Dear LeiLei -
We are so proud of you coordinating an immediate response into Mynamar! I am working on getting excess baggage authorized on your flights - but if we cannot do that we will try to send you aid while you are there...and send over a follow up relief team to your trip headed by Dr. Daniel Susott.
I want to put something on my website to support you also (and we are THRILLED to have you as a new Airline Ambassador! ) Please tweak the following quick paragraph below....and lets talk tomorrow.
MYNAMAR - Join our efforts!
AAI member -LeiLei Thein, leaves for Mynamar (May 9) and will lead our disaster assessment team in her native country. LeilLei will work with colleagues from Shelterbox http://www.shelterbox.org/ to hand deliver 100+ boxes in the next week, and prepare the way for our Airline Ambassador humanitarian response. Dr. Daniel Susott will follow LeiLei leading a medical team. Please help....thousands are homeless, and without food or water. Medical supplies, water purification equipment and food are needed. We have established a Mynamar Fund also to respond to the emergency. Click this link to make a donation and contact email@example.com if you would like to donate supplies, or join our humanitarian efforts. THANK YOU!
All the Best,
President, Airline Ambassadors
418 Cailfonia Ave. Suite #459, Moss Beach, CA 94038
Labels: Nancy Rivard