Weekend with the Karen Hill Tribe, Thailand


November 05, 2013

IMG_0423The beautiful village of Baan Mae Jok

IMG_0534The women were happy to show me how to roll a pipe made out of banana leaves.

IMG_0525My lovely kids (well my students) but my oh my did they have me attached after the first day!

IMG_0514I would normally be intimidated at the thought of managing 35 students of all age ranges, but they were a dream!

IMG_0483A typical kitchen in the village. Here I showed them my spring roll rolling skills 😉

IMG_0448Water buffalo herded through the village twice a day, at the same time everyday.

IMG_0438They hand-weave and naturally dye all their traditional clothing.

IMG_0419The most adorable little boy always followed me and my camera around.

IMG_0409Tending rice fields means lots of rice, and a heavy load.

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IMG_0378When we told her to make a chair with sticks, and this is what she came up with!

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IMG_0317All their houses were built high enough to avoid flooding, and doubled up as an area to keep livestock.

IMG_0218Early in the morning with her pipe and machete.

To better spend my time here in Thailand, I joined an The Christopher Robert Project which is an organization that visits Thailand’s hill-tribe communities on the weekends and offer in-village tutoring classes for the kids. Many of the hill-tribes reside far distances from schools, therefore making it difficult for the children to attend school. This past weekend, I had the pleasure of working with the Karen Hilltribe in Baan Mae Jok Village. The children stole my heart on the first day. I was shocked at how enthusiastic they were about school. They eagerly arrived to class an hour before we were supposed to start, and were so well-mannered. The most special part about this weekend visit was spending all day with the children in their village and seeing how they lived. Each morning the adults would set off to tend/gather crops, men would head out with their handmade rifle to hunt, and the children spent the day swimming in river and playing in the sun. Everyone had an important role in the village, and even the kids learned early how to cook, hunt, and be an asset to the tribe. It’s always reviving to be surrounded by such simplicity. No excess, no waste. I also had the pleasure of doing day to day activities with the families such as going to church, helping with dinner, and kicking it over fresh grown tobacco rolled in banana leaves!




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