Volunteer Diary 2 – Myanmar

When AMURT & AMURTEL in Malaysia organized a Charity Jumble Sale for our school reconstruction program in Myanmar in March 2009, Cathy Liu chipped in by running a stall selling a few hundred cups of jelly which she had made herself. Then in May 2009, she joined Usha on a trip to Myanmar to see the AMURT & AMURTEL operations there for herself. Below are Cathy’s impressions.

“Visiting the school that I helped to fund raise for, I felt a great sense of achievement seeing the concrete structure coming up. It was very satisfying to know that what I have done will make a difference in the lives of these children who have so little right now..

I had bought the buns in Yangon, fearing that I may get hungry down in the delta villages. But they treated us so well and made sure we had plenty of food. So I thought I would give the buns to the children. They were just plain buns and such small pieces, but for these children, they were a special treat. It broke my heart to see them pushing each other for the buns. My own daughter at home won’t even touch them if the buns don’t have chocolate or vanilla filling!

One of our favorite treats in the delta area was fresh coconut water, straight from the source itself. Once when we asked the villagers how they got the coconuts down from the trees, the village headman at Kansu himself climbed a tree to demonstrate!

Fortunately there was a toilet for us to use down in the delta villages. But the bathroom area had no door and it was open to the fields. I couldn’t adjust to bathing there with the buffaloes looking on – so I had to go without my bath that day!
Seeing with my own eyes the poor living conditions that the people live in has awakened my conscience. I want to do more to help them so that they can become self-reliant and enjoy a better standard of living.”

For Usha, the highlight of the Myanmar visit was travelling on the boat and seeing the hundreds of newly-built houses on either side of the river bank. Here was solid evidence of the difference we were able to make in the lives of these people.