Friday, May 16, 2008


One of my former students, Craig Garrison (MHS '86) and his family have spent the last four years living first in Myanmaar and then in Thailand, working in humanitarian aid and relief for the thousands of misplaced people who are forced to leave Burma as a result of life under the totalitarian military junta there.

Yesterday, I got this email from Kara, Craig's wife, in response to a message I sent to them earlier this week:

Dear Tanya,

It's good to hear from you. Thanks for writing an encouraging note. Everyday the news gets worse here, and we are feeling in a trance. There is such terrible news that we have stopped sending out email for a few days. We are concerned that it's too hard to relate to, and overwhelming for all of you as well. The most overwhelming part for us is the inability to get help to the survivors to the degree that is needed. So few are being reached that need it the most. Not because there aren't willing volunteers, but because the Burmese government is trying to prevent aid.

Thanks for your update... Vermont in July will be wonderful! It brings a smile to our face just to think about it.

Love from all of us,

From Craig's mom I learned that he's made every effort to get into the country to assist, but the Burmese government refuses to let any humanitiarian relief inside the country. From my work with human rights issues in Cuba, I have some understanding of the frustration the Garrisons are encountering; however, the massive death toll and suffering of the people surpasses anything I've had to face with matters in Cuba.

Please hold these Craig, Kara, and their wonderful kids, Sara, Emilee, Katie, and Jacob, in your thoughts and prayers. They are perhaps the most amazing and loving family I've ever known.

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