Karen Revolution Day 2022 was celebrated on January 31st at Rain Tree Clinic (RTC). Our staff and students had the day off in observance of the holiday.
As a Year 1 teacher, I coordinated with our RTC on-site teacher, Naw Khu Paw, to develop a fun activity for our 13 current Year 1 students. We decided on a scavenger hunt. Below are the five sets of clues we gave the students. See if you can guess what the clues are referring to. (Remember though, our students are not native English language speakers, so not only did the students have to think about the parts of the clues critically, they also had to learn some new English words along the way – dictionaries were allowed.)
1. I am an aperture in rock. Tree anchors are growing inside of me. I provide a haven of refuge.
2. We belong to the new graduate who is truant. We are porcines. We live behind the abode of the Big Boss of RTC.
3. I produce a cacophony during the day. At night I sleep. Your phone loves me.
4. I am a treasure cache. You come to me to spend your legal tender. The proprietor knows what to do.
5. Business is accomplished here. I am located next to where a gravid woman lives. Math problems originate here.
Life at RTC as seen through a scavenger hunt:
1) A cave. Because of the conflict in Myanmar, our students have learned that at a moment’s notice, day or night, they need to be prepared to run to the cave that is near the clinic.
2) A pigpen. Unlike Chiang-Mai, Thailand, where the Year 1 students usually spend their first year of PA training, there are no grocery stores nearby in the middle of the jungle. All the food eaten here is raised here, or very near here, and is cooked by the students.
3) The generator. Power plants are also not a thing here. All of the power used in our clinics and classrooms comes from 2 large generators and some solar panels. When the sun goes down, there are only fires and flashlights to light the night. Electricity and wifi are used sparingly.
4) A local village store. The little village down the road from RTC has a small store where the students can get a few sweet treats or drinks, some coffee (dry only – it’s not a Starbucks), and a few other necessities. The villagers love our students. Not only do the staff and students frequent the store, but they also participate in church services and village celebrations. On graduation day this year, January 29th, 2022, the entire village was invited to join in and enjoy the celebration and feast.
5) The business office. Everything that happens at RTC is because of your support. We would not have a presence in Karen State without you and the grace of God. Our business office is a very busy place coordinating students, supplies, and the occasional Karen dignitary.