ELL: San Chai Mai, Akha Weekly Update

Matthew McDaniel akha at loxinfo.co.th
Fri Aug 13 03:36:46 UTC 1999

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Date: Fri, 13 Aug 1999 10:36:46 +0700
From: Matthew McDaniel <akha at loxinfo.co.th>
Organization: The Akha Heritage Foundation
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Dear Friends:

The weekly update is now divided into two pieces, a piece of mail with
stories from the Akha lands and then this update with news of ongoing

Please subscribe a friend.
If you wish to unsubscribe, please make sure if you have more than one
email name or that the newsletter is not coming to you via a mailing


For this week
Akha Photo Journal:


Building New Gathering Place In San Chai Mai:

Now that we have finished construction of the "Sah Lah" or gathering
place in a mountain village we are ready to proceed with one in the
village of San Chai Mai, which some of you are familiar with.  San Chai
has had one of the hardest times as a village, drug addiction, HIV and
problems with the police.  But in 8 years of being here I have yet to
see any project done in San Chai itself.  People come and go, the
village still remains impoverished.  There is even a clinic next door
now, built by the government, but it doesn't appear to have actually
affected the quality of life in San Chai.  As part of our effort to
strengthen villages, to help them hold onto their land, fight relocation
and fight the removal of children and girls from the village for
"education" we are asking for people to help us build these traditional
gathering places for the villages.  I donate the boards for the floor,
help with the construction and the village helps as well and provides
the poles and grass roof.  If you go to http://akha.com/Salatsoh.htm you
can see what building one looks like.  These are places for the village
people to meet in the center of the village, drink tea, talk, sew, the
children to gather out of the rain and contribute to village unity.  I
know some of you have friends in San Chai, like Nimit, and if any of you
can contribute to the cost of the boards it would be much appreciated.


Book Punch

Well, after months of prodding and pushing the book punch is within a
few days of being done, the punching head was being machined last time I
was there.  The fellow is a good machinist, just has too much work and
not enough helpers.  This allows us to punch the signatures through the
side, rather than back stitching, and then allows for sewing the book
together with heavy string for a long life.  I will include a jpeg link
as soon as it is finished and fine tuned.


Zeneca Agro Chemicals

We have been talking with Zeneca Agro Chemicals of London about the
availability of Paraquat to the Akha, as it is a very dangerous
defoliant and most villagers are not aware of this or trained to use it,
to say nothing of the fact that it is just really a nasty chemical to be
dumping in the environment.  We would like to see it not sold at all.
Last year Zeneca sold over 7,000,000 liters, that's right, over 7
million liters in Thailand alone of just that one chemical and there are
other chemicals and other companies, like Monsanto and their
glysophate.  Nasty stuff too.  Anyway, Zeneca has at least agreed to
help make educational materials and help provide safe water in villages
so that they won't be contaminated by washing of the containers, not
sure how many yet.  I have to say that they have been very willing to
discuss this problem as compared to some other groups we have had to
deal with.


Bayer and Dioxin?:
Gotta Headache?

Bayer Company is dumping a chemical in Thailand called Hedonal 95 SP.
This is 2,4,D which I believe is the same as Dioxin or contains it,
someone correct me if I am wrong, but this also is finding its way into
the hands of villagers who have no way of knowing how dangerous it is.
I am also trying to contact Bayer about this.  I wonder if people have
any idea how much of these chemicals are being dumped on our soils and
in our waters around the world by our own western companies, killing us


Please visit Akha.com when you have a chance, maybe a couple of times
over the month, as the site is changing and streamlining.  We have new
categories in the index which are not filled up yet, don't be concerned,
it is where we are headed, collecting stories and jpegs to fill each
category.  There is one on Bamboo, Birds, Butterflies, Bugs, Mushrooms,
etc.  As well, if one of these categories is a specialty of yours, or
you have one we have missed, let us know.  Would also like any input or
contribution of related articles or information for these pages.

We are also encouraging people to come and study the flora and fauna of
the Akha forest as a means of helping them preserve it and keep their
position in the mountains.  Many villages are under pressure or ruse to
leave the mountains.  Help us fight this.


Thankyou all for your support.

Matthew McDaniel


Matthew McDaniel
The Akha Heritage Foundation
386/3 Sailom Joi Rd
Maesai, Chiangrai, 57130
Mobile Phone Number:  Sometimes hard to reach while in Mountains.

US Address:

Donations by check or money order may be sent to:

The Akha Heritage Foundation
PO BOX 6073
Salem OR 97304

Donations by direct banking can be transferred to:

Wells Fargo Bank
Akha Heritage Foundation
Acc. # 0081-889693
Keizer Branch # 1842  04
4990 N. River Road.
Keizer, Oregon,  97303 USA
ABA # 121000248

Web Site:

mailto:akha at loxinfo.co.th

Discussion Groups:
akha at onelist.com
indigenousworld at onelist.com

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