My heart goes out the people of Myanmar as they make their way through the devestating aftermath of nature's cruel visit. As I read articles describing aid, both in man power and supplies that continues to be turned away by the military junta, my sadness deepens for the people who live in this corner of the world. The gentle and graceful beauty of the people and their surroundings is in stark contrast to the stronghold and nightmarish regime that brutally enforces their will on its people making efforts to offer foreign aid practically impossible.
A few years ago, I picked up this book, Finding George Orwell in Burma, thinking it would be a happy go lucky adventure somehow tied to an author that I enjoy reading. Not so much. While this travel memoir had its moments that painted the country in the colors of its idyllic former self, I learned of the hardships and oppressive regime that this culture must live with--a way of life that I can't begin to understand.
These beautiful images of serenity and gentleness hide the reality of a culture struggling at this point in time to stay alive, literally, while officials black out internet connections and turn aid away that is so vital to righting this terrible natural disaster. The violation of human rights we are witnessing, even prior to Cyclone Nargis, but more so now as the government works to suppress its exposure to the rest of the world is appalling and we need to be mindful of its citizens ongoing plight.
Photo credit: flickr