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Thailand Photos: Rafting, trekking, Karen village home stay in Umphang: 07 - 11 Feb 2006

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A village house - Ban Thi Pho Gyi  A house in Ban Thi Pho Gyi
The houses in Ban Thi Pho Gyi were good looking, neat and well built. Many houses were built of sawn timber rather than hand cut wood. Many have corrugated metal roof instead of thatch. We were granted home stay in one of the houses owned by the family of the village head.

We walked around the village, played foot ball with the children till we felt very hungry. The host family allowed us to use their kitchen including the fire place, fire wood, stove, pots, pans, plates. We made a delicious meal, sat on the floor around the round short table and had our dinner of rice, vegetable soup, fried potatos, pork, and fruits.

Fire place in the kitchen to sit around
After the dinner we sat around the fire together with the host family and talked. The current place was the new village moved from the old Thi Pho Gyi village years ago. They now had farms around the village and in the hills producing mainly rice, corn and peanut. Rice is just enough for own consumption while they sell the other two to the town folk. Vegetable and some fruits grown in the farms are also for own eating. They raise chicken, duck, pig, cows, and buffalos. They had an elephant used for transportation of goods.

Early morning view in Ban Thi Pho Gyi
In the next morning I woke up quite early, and walked up to the school. The family in this house was packing corn to send to the town. The village was connected to the highway 1288 (Umphang - Pueng Klueng) by a 12 km long dry season dirt road.

Pounding mountain rice - Ban Thi Pho Gyi
This Karen lady was pounding rice paddy. They were using hand tools mostly made of wood and bamboo to produce things for use or consumption. The harvested (cut) mountain rice is threshed to get rid of stalks and leaves, and then undergone winnowing to get rid of lighter unwanted things such as dust and soil. The resulting paddy is stored in the storage hut. From time to time they take an amount of rice from the storage and pound them to separate brown rice from husk for family consumption.

They harvest rice once a year in November/December. Corn is harvested in June/July and again in November/December.

Morning view from Ban Thi Pho Gyi school
When I reached to the school I walked into an open field (maybe a play ground). The morning mist was still hanging in the air. However I could see the good part of the village, banana trees, and the mountains on the east (Mae KLong river side). It was cold and a bit windy.

Ban Thi Pho Gyi school
The class rooms in the primary school. At that time they had two teachers: one from the village and the other one from Uttaradit. The students studied there primary classes. The older ones then had to go to other village to study higher classes.

Hand weaving - Ban Thi Pho Gyi
A lady was hand weaving clothes. They made clothes, blankets, bed sheets, bags, and head dress for themselves. Some of their products were sold to visitors.

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