We went to the Lahu village today to finish up the net fence we are putting around their dirt soccer field like literally up on top of the mountain of their village. It's such a pretty look out up there but there is a huge cliff so they always lose their balls. Which is why we are putting up the fence to prevent that. These ppl are so ambitious & resourceful they just need the idea or a push in the right direction. Once we bring up an idea to them they make it happen & actually do a lot of the work. They were up there with us helping tie the nets & they actually did a lot of the welding stuff with the poles that we tied the nets to. They are awesome. They have a bunch of dogs, I don't know if they are stray dogs or have owners. Probably a mix of both. But one of the dogs got caught in the net today & it was literally the saddest thing. He was yelping & squirming, a Thai man helped the dog out but they were laughing & I just watched with wide eyes. Hopefully that's not a problem with the net....? Okay so a little about this village... they don't have clean water but they drink it anyways & get sick, as in diarrhea. So we are putting a filter in the cistern. It amazes me how long they have been without clean water. It gets really bad during rainy season because it washes dirt & mud into the water so it's not as clean. They wash themselves with a bucket & a cup. They just dump it over their head & call it good. They live in tiny little huts, it reminds me of a tree house on the ground almost. I'll send a video that hopefully does justice. Occasionally you will see a nicer home & it's cause they sell drugs & have a little more money. Therefore, nicer houses. But that's in other areas not at the Lahu village. I just keep picturing myself living in these circumstances & I could not even imagine. It makes me angry I think that way but it's just cause I have a "standard" that I'm used to. I've been living so differently for so long that this lifestyle is almost unimaginable. It makes me feel so ungrateful sometimes. We were complaining about the heat & how it would hurt so bad to run on the dirt & rocks barefoot, next thing we knew a little boy comes running past us barefoot with the biggest smile on his face. They live in such terrible situations but they are so happy & make the best of it. We have such a high standard in America that we feel we have to meet. Cause it's what we know & are used to. But these ppl have always lived this way & they are so humble & grateful. I'm actually writing right now in the bed of our truck. Were on our way to the Akha village (correct spelling) right now. Were going to be working some more on the canal. Like I said, this village is a little more educated & they have an overall cleaner, nicer village. For example, they have less decayed teeth here because they brush their teeth after every meal. Better than me. I am actually going to be teaching a very basic dental health class with another girl at the Lahu village. She brought tooth brushes & floss to give them. Her mom works at a dental office so score!
Anyways, the Akha village also has less trash. They just keep it tidy, I think that's a big part of why it feels much nicer than other villages. They have a ton of land for rice fields & whatever else they grow. At least it seems like it goes on forever. I'm assuming it's all theirs but not positive. Their houses are much sturdier. Still little huts but they just seem more "put together" if that makes sense. They understand the importance of education at the Akha village which is such a huge thing. Some families will sell all their stuff to get their kids in school. Amazing. Definitely not like that everywhere though. We wanna get the kids some jump ropes. They would love them! They tied rubber bands together & made a long rope thing that they play games with. We taught them limbo & then practiced their high jumps. Haha so jump ropes would definitely keep them entertained
I love all the different ppl we come in contact with. I wave to everyone on the street as we drive by because I love the giggles & huge smiles on their faces when I do. Everyday they make me want to be more friendly & just a better person!
The reasons kinda why these mountains tribes are so poor is because they came from Southeast Asia 20/30 years ago & they aren't technically Thai citizens so they don't have the same rights as the rest of Thailand. They are taken advantage of by ppl & even police men. When they get sick they often aren't able to go to the hospital even. So they aren't really treated fairly & don't have the opportunity as easily as others to get an education. So that's a very small summary.
Oh yeah, after we left the village we got some food. I had Pad Thai & it was my favorite meal yet. Street food wins every time man. So good. Okay so here are a couple videos & pictures.
This above video is at the Akha village. Well about 5 minutes from it. So not really their village but their land, I think. He was learning our names:)