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Karen Hilltribes Water Trust Project

Working as a team to install a water supply in a remote village of Ban Huay Naa.

Ruth Johnson (2005, Engineering)

I spent a month working for the Karen Hilltribes Trust in the small village of Ban Huay Naa, located in the Karen region in northern Thailand. As a team of 7 British students, and along with a village of 50 Karen people, we installed a water supply into the village.

After buying our supplies in the main town in the region, we were taken up to the village in a convoy of pick-up trucks. The journey took us up winding mud tracks, and we regularly had to push the tricks out of the mud in order to make it up the up the steep hills. I became nervous as I realised how remote we were going to be, but the nerves quickly disappeared when we drew into the village and received a warm welcome. The ‘head man’ of the village shook our hands as we alighted the truck, and many people were on hand to unload all our supplies. The whole village came out to receive us, clearly out of interest, since we were the first group of western people to visit the village.

Dealing with the very different etiquette in the Karen culture proved challenging .... Read more

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