Letter while MaH in TaWa


Dear K,

This morning (Sunday 22 June), MaH and friends ("the little doctors") set out about 7am.  I am looking after my two grandchildren all day.  When they come back, I will hear the news.  I think she will be writing to you herself.

When I woke up this morning, I found myself thinking about the Nargis donations.  So as soon as I got up, I went to look at the calendar.

Due to you and your friends, each week I have been able to perform acts of ku-tho (meritorious acts, of which giving is the highest : the one who gives, receives).  For this reason, please tell all your friends that I thank them.

Giving does not need to be in the realm of millions.  To give what one can give is a joyful act.  What we have donated has been very helpful to those who have received it. 

One may donate as much as a great banyan tree (nyaung-pin, such as the giant ficus at BodhGaya under which the Buddha sat, and where he gained enlightenment), and may gain a nyaung seed's worth of merit.  Likewise, one may give a seed's worth of donation, but if the volition (the citta or heart-mind's intent) is incisive, the merit gained will be as great as the giant banyan.

The cyclone happened on the night of 2nd May and the day of the 3rd.

In the first week, on the 11th,a Sunday, people of our community set out for the Delta, and I was able to donate the clothes we had in our cupboards and our rug.

In the second week after the cyclone, on 18th May, people set out from our area and I sent my big son with a lot of biscuits; this was the start of your donation.

The third week, on 25th May, I myself was able to go along to KunChanHill and offer donations. The first amount that you sent, together with my niece's and two friends' donations, enabled us to give generously on this trip.

The fourth week after Nargis, on 1 June, on a trip giving medical care, MaH and doctor friends were able to give donations.  (Some of the medical stuff was from our donation)

The fifth week, on 8th June, your second donation, together with what my younger son sent, bought 300 mats and 500 articles of clothing, worth more than 700,000 kyats.  This was sent along with ThuThu (the boat trip on from Pyapon, which ThuThu undertook with Pyapon friends, taking stuff from other Yangon donors, such as pots and pans that ThuThu had ordered from a factory,and blankets, again ordered direct from the weavers).

On 15th June, the 6th week, I gave the young nun heading for the Laputta area 550,000 kyats (for roofing; her brother monk was meeting her along the route, to receive the money and organise the material for the villagers).

And this week, 22nd June, the seventh since the cylone, I gave MaH 500,000 kyats for their trip today, for her to decide herself what to donate.  They wanted to buy rice as well, down in the Delta (cheaper than in Yangon).  This is all from your third donation.

This time includes M's nephew's donation, clothes and tarpaulin.  And MaH's friend is donating cooking vessels.  Two other friends' donations I will have to find out about when they return.  Their offerings include medical care, so this is even more ku-tho.

The fourth donation you have sent arrived Friday evening.  For sure, this will be used in this coming week.  I will go, with your little auntie.  For today's trip with MaH, I phoned your aunt to say she could go along, but she was not free today and says she would like to go with me on my next trip.

Next week, I will go somewhere, together with her.  On 30 June, one of my friends, on the occasion of her young daughter's birthday, is going down to Twante, she is offering food to more than 200 orphans being taken care of by the monks at their teaching monastery.  I will be going there for sure.  And if MaH and friends come along, we will go and offer further donations.

K, while I'm writing this letter to you, MaH and friends have come back.  They went to TaWa village (see letter of June 14th).  It is really poor, MaH says.  It is a village of 300 households, on each side of the bridge.  They had not taken enough stuff for 300 households, so they had to give to the poorest families.  As it was different kinds of stuff, they decided to do "lucky dip".  The ones who got pots danced for joy!  One wouldn't be able to give enough, they are so poor.  Some of the houses don't even have a roof!  If each kind of article is to be given to 300 households, the money we have now won't cover it.  If you have gathered more funds, ones who can go and donate are at the ready.  More later.....

note from Kinthissa, writing from Valle del Deglio in midsummer ~ the young nun set out by boat last Wednesday evening from Yangon, expecting to meet her brother monk along the route; he will organise for the purchase of roofing material down in the Delta; the price is very minimally more than in Yangon, and getting it there saves on trouble and transport costs.

Some photos have arrived, including ones of the nun with her two young charges, the 15 year old and the 10 year old :  my friend found both of them in robes, when she visited them last week!  She said how much happier they were looking; when they came to her house the previous week, they had just arrived in Yangon, having come through devastated villages full of the dead.  The nun had started out from her area with 18 orphans, but on the way was forced to give up most of them to the authorities.

We hope soon to get news, and photos, of this weekend's trip to TaWa, from one of the doctors.

It appears that foreign aid workers, when they do get permission to enter, have to leave when their visas expire.  The ones from neighbouring countries have already gone, my friend says.  It is good that many local doctors are committed to make these trips to those in need.

We hear of the Delta, but in fact there are places in the Yangon area where there was severe damage in the cyclone.  There is a young monk in Dagon who has opened a dispensary and is teaching the children; I think we will hear more of him, and I hope soon there will be news of the nun.  Having started out from Yangon Wednesday evening, she was to arrive late Thursday at her destination.  Our roofing contribution was heading for a village called Aung-Sa, and my Yangon friend commented on the name, "Ah, initiation of success, a good name for our project!"