meditating in the jungle yesterday evening, i kept hearing my name drifting through the buzzing of mosquitoes. no big deal, i just thought the mosquitoes were calling my name. it turned out to be a small search party out urgently looking for me.
explaining very little, they had me hurriedly pack a bag and leave the village. as i was leaving my house, still unaware of the reasoning for my leaving, the children playing in the dormitory yard spotted me and they all turned and yelled "bubbye teacher!", blowing me kisses and waving. that's a moment i'll always remember, as tears welled up in my eyes and all i could manage was a faint wave and a fake reassuring smile. i was given a long sleeve shirt and bamboo farmers hat to cover my skin color and escorted back to the border by the karen rebel army under cover of darkness.
there have been some severe clashes between karen and burmese forces near the village, and me being an illegal foreigner living among them presented a great risk for the entire village. the burmese military has also been scouting out the village recently and most assuredly knew of my presence there. so i'm gonna have to live in exile for a while until the situation calms down. they seemed hopeful that it should be just a few days. i don't know if that hope is well founded or not. it seems unlikely, but i sincerely hope it's true. these are the largest clashes since a landmark ceasefire was signed nearly two years ago, and represents a significant setback in the progress towards peace and reconciliation.
this, the world's longest-running civil war (65 years) has gone on for far too long. there's a lot of bitterness and nationalism on both sides, and tension is high. yet a hope for peace and reconciliation is also very present.
please pray for peace. pray for love.