Thursday, November 25, 2010

Life or Whatever

Starting to spend more and more nights out in the village that I work in. I've only spent one night at home this week; a testament to how much I'm starting to love this place. We also had a new volunteer arrive. It has been really nice to have someone who is going through the same things as me. 

Life is laid back. Everyone, and I mean everyone, plays guitar as much as I do. I leave my guitar at the office now. I don't even have to ask people if they play the guitar. I just hand them a 6-sting and tell them to play a song. Knowing how to play the guitar has never been such a useful skill! To be more specific, knowing how to play Country Road by John Denver, and Hotel California by the Eagles have never been such useful skills. We'll see how much cheesy pop music I can take but so far I've been able to nod and smile at the N'Sync, or Katie Perry or whatever bull shit.

I just realized that I've never talked about what I'm actually doing here! Well, my organization develops projects on the Thai side of the boarder, and then we send our staff into the Karenni State to carry out these projects. Right now we're setting up community forest management bodies, doing research on the proposed dams that the military government plans to build, doing environmental education campaigns and researching traditional medicinal plants. Trade is blocked going in and out of conflict zones (this includes medicine) so we are trying to increase the knowledge about medicinal plants to be used as an alternative. 

Another pretty cool thing is that I'm riding a motorcycle here, and it is freakin awesome! I feel like I'm dirt biking when I drive to work. And for all of my readers who are aware of my accident-prone track record, rest assured, I have not yet killed myslef!

OH YA! Last week 3 friends from Scarborough just popped through town. hahaha! I'm on the other side of the world and friends just happen to be passing through town. Ania, Ange, Tiana and I had a pretty good time. Although there was one minor blip in the visit when Ange put a 3000 Baht scratch into the truck of the chief's wife. Stay tuned for the “Cribs” episode we filmed at my house.

P.S. A dog that lives out in the village had puppies yesterday. I'll call them Mr. White, Mr. Orange, Mr. Blonde, Mr. Blue, and Mr. Brown. Anyone who can guess the common theme in the names of the dogs wins a special video dedicated to them that I will post on this blog. Post your guesses as a comment bellow!! LET THE GUESSING BEGIN!!!


  1. yay for being on the same side of the pacific as you. Reservoir dogs. Give me my video. I need it. I'm having an awful week.

  2. I admit that I am more than mad jealous of you.
    I may be in an awesome country having a great time, but you are definitely working my ideal placement. Glad to hear life is good. Shame I was too slow on reservoir dogs, but I think Mary deserves a nice video. After living with my roommates from last year I can only imagine how much the culture change can frustrate someone. hehe

  3. Ya the puppies are the resevoir dogs! To be honest I was hoping that the guessing would go on a little longer but that's cool. I'll get that video up asap.

    And conor, I'd say my job would be an ideal placement for me too if I was actually doing anything other then shit-all at work. Hopefully work picks up soon.

  4. You give your friends too little cultural credibility there Mr. Impossible Trivia...

    Would you care to comment on the legal status of the organization, given it's unique cross-border position? Don't say anything that could potentially incriminate anyone. How was Loi Krathong?

  5. EXCELLENT! You got a motorcycle to!? I got a little 80cc bike, and it makes life soooooo much more awesome!! Becareful though.

  6. Hey Mary got the trivia question!! And P.S. Mary I'm really sorry it's been taking so long to get that video up. I'll promise that it will be up by tomorrow.

    Ya Jer! I have a 110cc bike that VSO actually gave to me! It's pretty awesome, especially since the drives through the mountains up here are stunning!