FBR REPORT: “Train to Cry”
Karen State, Burma
6 August, 2009

Dear friends,

Here is a report from our FBR HQ team after the latest training of Shan, Karenni and Pao relief teams. It is about love and what can make us cry. We were there to start the training and our ethnic headquarters team finished the training and prepared the new teams for thier missions.
After the graduation and after the last team had gone on thier missions, our headquarters group sent us this message.

“We want to share with you about the unusual FBR training/events that happened here after you left.

After the teams graduated and before they left for thier relief missions we sang all the Good Life Club songs together, prayed and did push ups. Then the teams began leaving each day in turn. The three Shan FBR girls who were part of the training will now stay to help with the Community Health Worker training taking place here. They are doing very well and are helping us teach rappelling, swimming, and Good Life Club work. They try their best to lead the other students. They are each now a lot better in doing push ups, running up the big mountain, working hard, helping in teaching GLC songs and acting like Rangers, and they always smile.

As the first Karenni teams left, the girls were crying but the men said ‘ I want to cry but doing push ups helped me not to cry’!.

Then a day later one of the Shan teams asked us to sing together with them.. We did not know they were leaving that day. Later on the girls came down and sang with us. We found out they were leaving when they were crying and the girls were crying with them.

Then as the Pa-O team were leaving, one of the Pa-O girls said ‘I will not cry because even when I left my Mom and Dad I did not cry. I do not know crying’. The 3 Shan girls were singing and crying but at first the Pa-O girls did not. Then we kept singing and the Pa-O girls began to cry too.

As a joke to make everyone laugh, the Shan FBR leader (Sai Noung) brought a bucket for the girls to collect their tears. Then later another Shan team joined us to sing bfore they left.. Many men including Sai Noung cried this time. After the team left we asked Sai Noung ‘why did you cry’ and he said ‘all the team have trucks to drop them off for the start of thier mission, but they do not, they have walk even before they start the mission’.

We do not want any Free Burma Rangers to cry but we can not stop them [from doing] whatever they have to do: crying, singing, and doing push ups at the same time. We do not think this kind of FBR action is bad. We train people to do [the things] they have to do and we also do not try to stop what they want to do. The only bad thing is that the camera men are going very close to the crying persons and taking their pictures (and laughing).

Anyway, we only want to share with you about this FBR training and what we call “Train to Cry Training”!

Thank you and God bless you,
The HQ FBR team