My story that bought me to where I am today
“ I was born in a village when money was not widely used. People made things by themselves and the barter system was common everywhere. People at that time did not use the word “poor” but the word “suffering” instead. When they were suffering they could find happiness easily by producing more things, sharing with others or helping others more.
Things suddenly changed when electricity and TV came to the village. The TV said we were poor because we didn’t have money to buy a TV, a motorcycle, a refrigerator and so to solve the poverty problem we have to work harder and we will have more money. People started to work harder and harder after that but the more they worked the more in debt they became. To be in debt is worst than to be poor for villagers because of the chronic suffering and low self-esteem it causes.
I was one of those people who tried to work hard to be away from being poor. I had tried to do many kinds of work but none was successful for a normal person like me. I worked hard but had no savings, just enough to make me survive day by day. I was disappointed with my life in the city. I couldn’t compete with anyone. I felt I had failed but went back home with a strong belief that every problem has a solution.
I practiced how to be self- reliance myself. I learned to grow my own food, cook my own food. build my own house, stop buying clothes, make my own soap and shampoo, make sauces, make tools and do many kinds of self- healing. My self- esteem increased rapidly.
I did not feel bad about myself any more.
When I started to do more things by myself, I have more confidence and less fear.
In 2003, along with family and friends, I founded a community called Pun Pun, north of Chiang Mai city in northern Thailand. Pun Pun is a self- reliance learning center and seeds saving center.
In 2018 we founded Pun Pun Isaan, in Yasothorn province of northeastern Thailand. Pun Pun Isaan will be a model of how to design your farm to be sustainable by itself. At both places we experiment with alternative building, farming techniques, processing products from our farm and community as well as teaching and workshops too. Now I enjoy spending my life with my family and friends and plants.