Be a simple cow in a buffalo country (Gigi in a Karen family, Thailand)


Omi Cheu Peu! *
Welcome to the Jungle Village, at Wat & Poh’s!
Let’s adopt a simple and lovely life within a friendly Karen family!
* Literally: “Hello have you eaten already?”

Gigi looks at the pond (and also gets bizarre … or rather laughs yellow at the end of his stay).

Gigi looks at the unobstructed view over the banana trees, the day punctuated by the sun and the cravings, the organic farm, the good fruits and vegetables, the harmonious family life, the place of the women and the being, the neighbors friends, close friends, wild neighbors, time and space, passing travelers for a day or a lifetime …

Gigi looks at the biting little neighbors, the dirty beasts, flies, wasps, hornets, ants, beetles and mosquitoes, all are partying as the heat rises … And they leave her almost no respite, not any piece of free skin … Their predators the geckos and lizards are just as noisy and numerous and funny.
Bigger buffaloes (water buffaloes) populate the dry rice fields on the path of waterfalls. They like to swim in the mud pools. They also help in the rice fields to plow before planting. Because after we put them a time in the forest not to see disappear all the rice grass as a meal to the wolverines.

Gigi do not you see anything coming? Ouch this view, ouch this life…
Young and old prepare local cigars: tobacco, tamarind skin to roll in banana leaves. And in the evening it’s BBQ, songs, guitar and yukulele by the fire, and also Jungle whiskey (with rice my dear Gigi), with Bob (Marley), The Guns, Freddy (Mercury) or Mr Eric (Clapton).

And precisely fire is quite essential here. Burning leaves and paper (yes it ‘s bad, fortunately it’ s in small quantity and small burns make the land fertile for local agriculture that we are told). Our hosts are still cooking using wood fire, in a pot studied for less consumption. Poh she makes excellent green curries, noodles and fried rice made from eggs and vegetables. Gigi cuts the vegetables and prepares spaghetti. But as there are no fork and our Italian traveler says that it is sacrilege to cut these divine pasta then we cut bamboo to make chopsticks with a machete. Gigi she sees a cultural mix here…

But remember, dear Gigi, what did you come here to do? Volunteering! Oh yes it is the principle to help your hosts in their daily lives in exchange for lodging and food (and even more if affinities). And in the Jungle village, at Wat and Poh’s it is Sabai Sabai rhythm (slowly according to desires and opportunities) that we all work together at such funny and varied tasks as large as monthly home cleaning, yearly pool cleaning, wading in the pond for filling without infiltration, construction of hut, table or bungalow, gardening, crop preparation, soil fertilization with dry buffalo masts, picking beans or pok choi and crops etc … All in mindfully is not it dear Gigi?
(Little interlude Thai / Karen – these details that make happy and smiling: The shoes soaking in the basin, driving barefoot on a road full of holes and holes, beans to pick neither fast, neither too big, nor too much big, neither too curved nor too short, in short a shade invisible to the naked eye of the Gigi who had to be coached closely by the grandmother!)

Luxury comfort. Gigi & the PPs are housed in a bungalow with private shower room and toilet. While they are content with cold water and bamboo walls, they have the comfort of sleeping on a mattress (rather than a thin Thai mat), to have a room lit by electricity at night (this that there was no village there 3 years ago), to wash their teeth in a sink (not like our neighbors) and to take advantage of a hammock and a breathtaking view of the wide valley terrace where friends come to meet us for our morning sessions of meditation or fitness at sunset … In short, Gigi is the foot and Poh is an amazing emerging to yogi …

And Gigi is quickly integrated, the Karen family is most welcoming, empathetic and endearing. With a super curious and tolerant naturalness, Wat and Poh and their children and extended family puts travelers at ease. In quiet times (understand when the heat is too much on our skins), Gigi & the PPs take refuge inside to do some music, play cards, draw, nap, discuss or watch TV …

Yesterday Gigi saw Wat rushing on his machete … and spin a small snake right under the house and kill him. In general everyone stays at home and snakes are ok in their nature habitat. But in the house it is ominous sign so you have to kill him. Gigi she understood that the village is Christianized and also keeps some beliefs, superstitions and rites.

The fabrics of the clothes, the colors and weaving techniques mark the different villages and families. Women wear Sarongs with stripes and V-shaped tops where the lines are also horizontal. While men wear tunics with vertical weaving. And then there are those who do not wear a tunic when they do not know if they are male or female … Like our friend Veru.
And this village has lost locals this year, some of them went to Chiang Mai and some went to their beautiful family in another village …
And we would have liked to do a little bit of way here to repopulate …

And just before leaving, at the time of family photos, the drama … Gigi has dropped the smartphone in the pond … Cry, fright, awareness, questioning. And then calm returns. Detached from her contacts, a precious help for the logistics of the journey, a network that links to her home sweet home, beloved ones and data in quantity, the Gigi is light and free. Acceptance. Resolution. Well she will do like the Karenes, live now fully and make herself really available to others who are here and there, to enjoy this wonderful present.


Ta Bleu * from the bottom of the heart friends !!!
Sakading! **

* Ta Bleu: thank you
** Sakading: Bonne chance

And if you are tempted by a little bit of simple life like Gigi, it is here:

See you soon!
Gigi (& the PPs)


French edition and pictures on google+


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