From about 9 am to 6pm the Rickety House (aka my home) was left without electricity. It was funny to see how completely helpless we felt without electricity. Microwaves, toasters, fridges, freezers, stoves, and TVs were all out of business for the day. I kept thinking how utterly pathetic i was for how much my life depends on electricity. I kept giving talia "what if" scenarios and without hesitation i would answer my own question hoping to convince myself that i had any kind of common survival skills.
"What if our power never turned back on?"
"We would all move into the same room together and cook diner over a fire in the drive way...and we would eat canned food..(oh wait our can opener is electric)... what would all the old people do if their power went out.. thats scary, maybe we could sleep in Ryans bunk bed....what if...."
Talia merely looked at me and said.."Or we would just get a hotel". That girl right there is smart. so much for my survival skills.
This experience got me thinking about my travels. Which frankly feels like a dream, perhaps a good movie, or an interesting book by this point. But it made me think about the rest of the world out there and how not every child plays video games all day, not every person has an Iphone and apps that can tell you what kind of animal tracks you are following, not everyone has an opportunity for education, and not everyone even has a a roof over their head.
This summer i volunteered in a small village in the hillside of northern Thailand. Two to three times a week i would hop in the back of a rusty old pick up truck and drive 30 minutes through the city, around florescent green rice fields, and up up up to the small village of Ban Apat. The people of this village live in bamboo huts and children play it dusty streets, pigs and chickens walk around the village (Akha people believe that animals have spirits and they treat them as family). I have never worked harder than i worked in that village. We helped build a natural medicine clinic and built the villages first stove! Most of the villagers use open fires in their homes which can be very detrimental to their health. In fact it is the third leading cause of death in third world countries. They had really big hearts in this village but very little materialistic items. A stove for the community was a huge deal. The village elders helped me along the whole way with the project and the first use of the stove was for their festival! Anyway, be grateful for electricity and the ease of the American life. We sure have a lot here and sometimes its easy to forget.
Here a few videos of what its like to live the Akha life.