For the past week I have been substitute teaching. Now, subbing is great because I get to go to school and spend time with the kids, teaching and interacting with them, with none of the work. The teacher that I'm subbing for has planned everything for me, and I'm only going to be there for a short time (one day at times, this time it was 4 days), so I don't need to plan for the future, either. This means that during my prep time I have nothing to do. :) It's great.
This week during my prep time, I spent a lot of time on my iGoogle webpage, catching up reading blogs and on news. I've never been much of a fan for news, but for some reason the stories about the cyclone in Myanmar have intrigued me. I first heard about it on Sunday, when I thought 351 people killed in a cyclone was a lot. I researched it a bit, found out that a cyclone was more like a hurricane than I thought, and realized that 351 was not a lot of people.
Monday I read more...the death toll was climbing to about 4,000 and many were missing.
Tuesday still more. Flood waters engulfed cities, people stood in line for hours waiting for a small amount of gas or drinking water.
Wednesday I think the count reached 10,000...with corpses floating in flooded rice fields.
For some reason I couldn't stop reading about this, thinking about the people that are there, going through this hard time. What are they thinking, feeling, fearing. What gives them the strength to keep going, to walk to higher ground, wait for water, scavenge for food?
All this time, the media is talking about how this is the worst natural disaster to hit Asia since the tsunami. But at the same time, the government is not allowing foreign aid into the country. These people who need so much are not getting it because their country is closed. :-( What can I do from halfway across the world?
Can you imagine going through this? I can't. I take for granted my clean drinking water, food, electricity, the internet, and the freedom to give or receive goods from other countries without the government restricting it. Right now I just pray that the people that are still alive in the wake of this storm are able to get the food, water, shelter, and medical treatment they need to survive through it. With the rice fields flooding, I know this will by a difficult year for the Burmese economy, too. Keep them safe, Lord...