Tomorrow morning, I am off for three days of intense research in an ethnic Karen village called “Ban nam bor noi”(village of the little well). My close friend and colleague Tanya and I will be delivering some donations from a wonderful Australian couple (Diane and Nigel), in addition to doing workshops with the community. We will all be further exploring the idea of a humanitarian project that will enable the villagers to better survive in the midst of modern development.
This village of about 100 or so people lives without electricity, running water, is full vegetarian Buddhist; however, they are surrounded by developed villages that are near fully plugged into the Matrix system (i.e. electricity, satellite dishes, Honda Accord cars, iPhones, etc.)
It’s likewise very difficult for these villagers to provide for their basic living necessities (food, water, roofing materials, etc.), as they are experiencing greater and greater pressure from the outside world to develop. If people have no land, and they can’t raise their own food (anymore!), pluck medicine from the forest, etc., how can they possibly survive (other than go work in the city, which causes all kinds of issues!)?
This village is a phenomenon! And, if the villagers support the idea, we are going to do what we can to support them and their traditional ways of life. My favorite part about going here is when every night the children gather with the spiritual man and they do a ceremony (while all dressed in traditional Karen clothing).
If you’d like a glimpse into this spectacular, beautiful, village, you may do so via my (second) book called, “Indigenous Voices: Glimpses into the Margins of Modern Development.”
This book is still being written and designed (should be finished in a couple of months. However, you can go to the web link provided below and skip ahead to page 204 to see into the village that I will be in this weekend.