| September 14, 1960
Miss Mildred Walden
Dear Miss Walden:
How very wonderful it is to lean back
and dictate a letter to you. This is the very last of several hundred
letters that I have been trying to finish up these last few nights.
As usual, upon my return to Laos, I
found a wonderful letter from you with the quotations that I so love to
read. Please keep digging them out of the literature for me, Miss Walden,
and keep sending them on.
Now let's see, can I take you with
me chronologically.....After my stateside lecture tour I went to Hawaii
for three days and spoke there ( I should not say it that way, it sounds
as though Hawaii is a foreign land, an awful lot of people there would
object to that thought). No, after my lecture tour on the mainland, I
went to Hawaii to give a few. The people of Hawaii have contributed over
$30,000, hence the new hospital in Ban Houei Sai belongs to them. I wanted
to speak to them to make sure that they would continue to support that
hospital with the constancy that is so important....and sometimes a bit
rare on this earth.
I then went to Tokyo where I had been
invited to address an international student convention. At the convention,
there were a great many of the Zengakuren. The Communist students who
rioted so much at the time of the planned Presidential visit. Instead
of having brickbats thrown at me, the students gave me a rousing ovation,
and seemed to have been delighted with the challenge that I threw at them.
The challenge was that rather than object and riot against something....why
don't they get up and get enthusiastic for something.....And the thing
that I wanted them to get enthusiastic for was a medical program. I asked
the students to raise amongst themselves $30,000 in cash, the medicines
from the pharmaceutical houses in Japan, and four nurses and a doctor
from their own student body. All of these I would then send to Ethiopia.
The hope was to establish a Japanese team to be the catalyst between the
Western world and the newly developed African world. They are already
working on it.....and I think they will probably succeed.
My friends in New York will enclose
for you the new brochure and the list of hospitals that MEDICO now has
around the world. A pretty staggering thought....17 programs in 12 different
From Japan I went down to Hong Kong
where I spoke in several places and met 12 members of our teams for Asia.
I took them around showing them where we purchase things, as you know,
Hong Kong is our major market in this part of the world.
From Hong Kong to Bangkok for one talk,
to hop in my plane, and begin to deliver the newly arrived packages of
compassion. One new team was sent to the hospital in Cambodia to take
over from Dr. Manny. A second team went to the new hospital site in Cambodia.
A third team went to Viet Nam. A fourth team went to me new hospital in
Laos, and I returned back to my own beloved, enchanted, wonderful, wretched,
dirty and filthy, windy, monsoon flooded valley of Muong Sing.
Within a week after my return, the
government had a revolution.....and we were completely cut off from the
outside world. But as the song says - "I've been there once or twice."
And so, chronologically, that brings
you up to the present moment. My plans for the future are that I intend
to stay on here with an occasional visit to our other teams through September
and part of October. On October 14, I must once again sneak into the U.S.
for a day or two at the hospital, I hope to be able to get out of the
States within four or five days. Hardly anybody will know I'm coming.
I'm going to do it as quietly as Dooley can do anything.
So, I'm back being a doctor...the root
of the tree of me. And this is the happiest thing that I can do. I'm not
so sure that I particularly enjoy the other aspects of my life...though
they are productive of good.
In the future you can continue to send
gifts to Madame Ngai through the Catholic Relief Services. I'm sure that
they will do this for you, and I will mention it to them when I see them
Ambassador Smith has left, and the
best address here for packages for the Lao program would be to simply
address them to the American Women's Club, A.P.O. 152, San Francisco,
California. I don't believe that any specific name is necessary. No, on
second thought, you had better address it to Ambassador and Mrs. H. Brown.
He is the new ambassador here. (From Smith to Brown, now I ask you!) Mrs.
Brown is the honorary president of the Women's Association and will see
that the packages are distributed.
Do not fear, almost any address that
you use over here will work, because things are so badly needed here by
everyone. Do not let the present revolution concern or worry you, if you
have received this letter, that means the outside communication has once
again been established.
It's been a long time since the July
22nd article in the Glob Democrat about my return from Indochina....the
reason we have been so successful, I feel, is because of the enthusiasm
and the constancy of so many supporters like Mildred Walden, and her children.
Again, Miss Walden, my deepest thanks to you for all, and do write to me very, very soon again.
Thomas A. Dooley, M.D.