CHIANG DAO IS ON A ROLL



The tiny village, high in the mountains above Chaing Dao, gets chilly this time of year, as low as 2 degrees on the coldest nights. Blankets were in short supply.  By chance, Project WIN had just received a big shipment of blankets given by assorted airlines -- all colors and sizes. The next weekend volunteers hauled a load of blankets to the village, and as usual, made the final three kilometers in a special four-wheel drive owned by the village.  

This is a Karen village, with ethnic hilltribe people who live mostly along the Thai-Burma border, and who retain their language and customs. There are about a million in Thailand. 

The village is new to Project WIN and Project Protein, but the people have embraced it wholeheartedly.  Every member of the village turns out to help when volunteers arrive, and most adults wear tradtional clothing in honor of the visitors.

Last week, villagers and volunteers worked to create the first big batch of organic fertilizer.  The recipe is cow manure, burned rice hulls, green plants, sugar cane residue, and a special bacterial culture.  They make 200 liters at a time.  After 15 days curing on the ground, covered by brush, the mixture has no odor and can be put in bags.  

The first planting is scheduled for February, but in the meatime plans are underway for the fishpond, the mushroom shed, and the village coop. Volunteers work closely with village elders and all families.