Monday washing

Washing hanging in the chilly sunrise that lights up the chief’s home in Ywar Pu.

I finally have the chance to participate in Andrew’s Monday washing lines theme. Thanks, Andrew, for the great idea and the inspiration to dig through old photos, which I have time for now that my last school term ended and my workload is lighter.

I wanted to post this image of washing hanging at dawn in a tiny village called Ywar Pu in the mountains of Burma (Myanmar). The chief of the village (and his family) had offered their place as a homestay for the night, to our group of five trekkers plus a cook and a guide. We had to rise early and trek during the cool hours as far as we could because the midday temperatures would be brutal, and during that time we rested in the shade rather than hiked.

The peaceful image of a scene among ordinary Dannu people in Burma is important to me right now because there is so much violence and unrest in their country at the moment. On February 1 the military staged a coup, dissatisfied that in the country’s free and fair elections, leader Aung San Suu Kyi was chosen instead of the military candidate. Declaring a rigged election, the military placed Suu Kyi on house arrest and took over the country. People across Burma began peaceful protests, asking for the leaders they had elected. The military responded firmly and peacefully at first, but eventually resorted to violence, and as of today at least 549 people have been killed by the military. The protestors have remained unarmed and non-violent – but fierce – as children, adults, and even monks raise the three-finger salute copied from The Hunger Games and calling out the junta oppression. The violence seems extraordinary, even for our violent world. The military has launched airstrikes on the border, suggesting the likelihood that residents are fleeing. The junta killed 114 people just on Saturday, including kids younger than 16 who were protesting. And yesterday, security forces turned their fire onto a funeral of people mourning the loss of a protestor.

I wish there was something I could do to help the people caught in this terrible situation. All I know to do is talk about it. And share my beautiful peaceful photo of what the protestors are fighting for: just a life in safety and to put out laundry and do whatever tasks are needed in a day.

22 thoughts on “Monday washing

    1. I had multiple people comment to me that the Burma coup on February 1 triggered memories of how close the U.S. came to being taken over by violent extremists who believed in a rigged election. Since we lived through such a crazy experience, I find it a little easier to imagine, and fear.

  1. Sadly it’s one of many wrongs in this world of ours, but always worse when it’s a place you know and love. How to change it? I wish there were answers. Your photo is beautiful and I’m sure you have wonderful memories to go with it. 🙂 🙂

    1. Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment! Your observation is exactly right: that I am touched because I know and love the country and its people. Thus, those memories you are talking about. I have such lovely memories. I have never ever visited a place that felt so immediately loving and open and supportive of total strangers, obvious foreigners, as I was. The idea that those loving people are suffering so profoundly is difficult news for me to keep hearing about.

  2. Another tragedy, on top of so many other’s Crystal. It was creative to use Andrew’s challenge.
    On another note, Peggy just stretched out your finished quit on our Library floor. Beautiful. Assuming we can find the right sized express box at the PO tomorrow, we should be able to drop it in the mail. Otherwise, Peggy has the boxes on order. Best send me your address via Gmail again in case I can’t find it. Bone filed it somewhere, but you know how that goes. 🙂 –Curt

    1. Sadly, I have held that washing photo for a couple weeks, because I keep missing Monday for a post. And by the time I remembered on a Monday, this photo taken in the center of Burma brought up painful thoughts.

      Bone does his best, as I’m sure you know. I’m happy to share my address again. I am SO excited to see the quilt. Tara has recently decided to teach themselves how to sew. They showed up last week during Spring Break with partner Brynnen, and we all worked on it together, attached the batting and tied it down with yarn. All three of us had needles and worked on a different section while we chatted. It was a great time, not to mention the first real visit with my kids for over a year, so I was blissed out.

      Since last week was Spring Break I finally had a chance to review Tony’s records. It only took a few hours to go through about 2000 pages, so I’m glad to discover I’ve still got it. There is a lot in there I had a comment about, and made him a long list. I haven’t heard back so I hope I didn’t overwhelm him with information. I wish him the very best and hope for a good transition out of the military and into the next chapter in his life.

      1. Hey Crystal, Tony had a one operation last week and has pretty much been out of it. I know he is deeply appreciate. We’ll double check with him.
        Fun to hear you and your daughter are enjoying sewing. 🙂 It keeps Peggy out of mischief. Grin.
        I haven’t participated in Andrew’s clothes line theme. I wish I had a photo of one of our clothes line photos when I was growing up, which was back before dryers. –Curt

      2. Oh I’ll bet those were good lines of washing! I remember Mom’s washing lines – not before dryers, but before we had electricity at the house. On rainy days the inside of the house would have clothes draped everywhere, ha ha.

      3. We had a drying rack for rainy days that lived in our front room next to our wood stove. I had to get to Africa before I experienced living without electricity.

  3. It’s been hard to watch what’s happening there. Once the military takes over it becomes a dictatorship. I wish I could hang laundry out here. I miss that fresh smell. The whole world has gone crazy. We can’t fix it all.

    1. Oh that is something I did not think of: the smell of laundry that was hung outside. I wonder if I hung laundry here if the deer would try to eat it? I remember once when I was hiking my socks were sweaty and damp and I hung them in a bush overnight to dry while I slept. In the morning the socks were chewed into sticky wads and spit out into the dirt by deer, who were interested in the salt. Blech.

      Luckily I do not have a regular TV signal here, and only watch news I choose to pull up on YouTube. I have not been exposed to scenes of the news for a long time, which has its down sides, but also good sides. But I have been “watching” it conceptually, as I hear the worsening news stories.

      1. I’ve never had anything eat my laundry when I could hang it out. We aren’t allowed to here but I would love to hang up pillows and comforters to get that fresh smell. I would never leave anything out over night. You know how I watch the news. I get the gist and have to let it go. Fast forward, no sound. I know I don’t want to vacation in places like that. Heck, I don’t want to vacation in places like here these days.

      2. I was just thinking that, after the news in Atlanta, then Boulder. People around the world are thinking, “Thank the gods I don’t live in a dangerous place like America.”

  4. I didnt realise that the three finger salute was lifted from The Hunger Games. Isn’t it eerie how many of the themes in dystopian novels are coming true to real life?

    Glad to read your take on this Monday Washing challenge. It’s good to wrap thoughtful content with nice photos. I appreciate it.

    1. Thank you Sandy. It IS eerie, as you say. Uncomfortable to me that I see things in the real world and think that it reminds me of a fictional book. Thanks for taking a look at my blog!

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