Magway, here I come
I was transferred to the University of Medicine, Magway in September 2006. I relinquished my duties of an associate professor in the department of Physiology, University of Medicine, Mandalay and prepared to travel to Magway.
After 28 years of service in my Alma Mater, I felt somehow reluctant and worried to face my duties ahead as professor and head of department of Physiology in Magway.
I arrived in Magway on the 8th of September, 2006. Our university is situated 7 1/2 miles from Magway. At first, I could see nothing but trees and toddy palms. The meadows and fields remained unspoilt and reminded me that we are many miles from the town.
Then all of a sudden, there it was, majestic in the sun. I imagined it will sit glinting, glittering and gleaming, a hypnotic pattern coalescing into a unity beneath the white bright slice of the moon.
I felt in love with it at that moment. It is a three- storey building. Physiology department is on the second floor. My office faces North and West. It gives a panoramic view of the surroundings which seems so quiet and serene.
The Rector, Pro-rector and Registrar all welcomed me warmly and I felt secure and happy there and then. As for my department, needless to say, they all took me in as their own kith and kin.
Non-teaching staffs in my department are from nearby villages. They are simple and ignorant. There are four of them. They tend to our needs, they cook for us, they run our errands, do odds and ends in our department, infact, they are jack of all trades. My heart goes out to them. I am somewhat a slave driver but they never complain.
Teaching staffs are very efficient and duty conscious and I feel that I am very lucky indeed to have the opportunity to work with them.
Every day at 7 am., city buses carry us from our dwellings in town to our university. It takes about 45 minutes. Bus drivers drop us at the canteens. Delicious smells wafted up from the kitchens. We teachers and students alike all have our fill of breakfast before assuming our duties.
At 4-pm., we all get ready to go home. Staffs from every department meet under the portico of the main building. There I get the opportunity to meet, observe and chat with the staffs from Yangon and Mandalay. Some are on permanent duty, some are on loan for one year, and some are posted here for 3 years.
The main topic of the conversation everyday is about the loved ones left at home; how many days left before being united with them again; about the journeys to and fro.
In the rainy season, the journeys become grueling. No matter how tiresome it may be, none of the setbacks could dampen their spirits. They always seem energized and ready for any ordeal both at home and at work.
Under the roof of our university, me and my colleagues share our experiences, soothe each other, laugh away our troubles, help one another and prepare to face another day with renewed vigour and determination.
I would like to salute my superiors, colleagues, friends and every one of University of Medicine, Magway for doing their duties far far away from home.
Prof. Tin Tin Aye (retired)
University of Medicine, Magway