February 04, 2007

chiangrai 2005 - 24 Ban Apa people

[181205] Ban Apa kids:

photos by YK

[1] maybe some day she will understand what has happened
[2] handing out the rough paper & crayons

with the 5 stones from YK:

photo by YK

Nalisala is always the 大姐大 big sister boss ;)

sharing the crayons & drawing us pictures:

photos by YK

gave them each a gold star sticker for their efforts, & they chanted 'ดาวหนึ่งตัว daaw1 neung3 tua1' (one star) as we pasted them on each drawing =)

Atee explained to us the charts & graphs (all in Thai) in the info panels put up after our team left in 2004 - statistics such as the no. of villagers who have left to study or work elsewhere, with breakdown of figures by age group, destination (within Thailand or overseas) etc. there was a population pyramid reflecting the hourglass shape typical of such villages, where it is mostly the elderly & very young who are left behind.

Acha's wife & sons:


super power lady was always walking around with a changkul on her shoulder, quietly helping with the heavy work building the info centre while heavily pregnant with her 4th son. glad for her that she has a good husband - Acha of 'no women no drink no smoke' fame =P she was also injured in the accident, but made no fuss about it.

fat mama, who gave YK & the cat Akha names & chokers woven from 9 stems of some reed-like plant:


with Acha, 2 of his sons & Amin:


with Agong & family & Apa:


chatted for quite a while in Chinese with a boy whom we didn't meet in 2004 as he was away working in Taiwan, & discovered that out of the 11 Ban Apa guys named Apa, this joker Apa happened to be his elder brother!

things were kinda complicated, & we didn't dare enter Agong's house this time...passed him & his wife the oranges & bamboo worms on their verandah in full view of those who had followed us into the house compound. & then it was to buseh's new concrete house for an early dinner with Atee (representing buseh, who had to leave for the funeral of a relative who died in a separate road accident) & Agong. showed them pictures of Singapore from a URA brochure, & they were shocked by the prices of HDB flats in terms of baht - felt that it was important to impress upon them that city living has its financial & social costs. Atee tried his best to smile for us, even joking about finding a new wife in Singapore...he has decided to stay away from meat, alcohol, partying etc for a month after what has happened.

leaving Ban Apa:


back in Baan Bua Guesthouse:


exhausted after running back & forth between 4 villages & 1 city & deciding how to distribute the donations, no energy left to plan our itinerary for the next 2 days...good thing was we had much less to carry after donating the old clothing we'd brought to MAG =)

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