Hospitals. We tend to take them for granted. In most places, if we have a health crisis at home or at work, a hospital is within easy reach by car or ambulance. And many of us who live in or near a city of any size in the West will have several good hospitals to choose from if we need help in a hurry.
But imagine this: you are living in rural Burma, with the nearest hospital 3 hours away by motorcycle taxi, and then a crowded bus. Imagine you’re working in your field and get bitten by a viper. Or maybe your father has a heart attack. Or perhaps you are a young mother-to-be and things are going dangerously wrong as you deliver your baby. Death is alarmingly close at hand.
But at least for Thaleba (Sayadaw U Indaka’s village in Upper Myanmar) and several nearby villages, very soon there will be vital care much closer at hand. In December last year, Sayadaw announced to us that he wanted to build a hospital on land that had been donated by the family of one of the nuns at Chanmyay Myaing Monastery. So after we offered a generous donation to start with, he got to work immediately.
And what work! In 12 short months, the hospital has gone from stakes in bare dusty ground to a growing structure that is nearing completion.
It is a huge project, made possible not only by our donations but also donations from many Burmese people and Sayadaw’s devotees abroad. We are proud and happy to have been part of this amazing process from its inception – and we are amazed at the speed at which it is coming to completion. Sayadaw has told us that he intends to finish at the end of the year, and we are sure he will. When the hospital is fully operational with staffing pledged by the government, there will delivery rooms, an operating theatre, several wards…and much more peace of mind for everyone living nearby.
In November, Mimmi and Ayya Virañani accompanied a number of Sayadaw’s Malaysian devotees to Thaleba for a visit to see the hospital. Seeing the amazing progress he has made, we very much look forward to our annual visit in February – knowing that by then there will be a hospital here, rather than a construction site! We will be sure to show you what we see!