Camp For Internally Displaced People (IDP)

Our Guard

Armed guard (child?)

On our way to the IDP camp, we were escorted by this armed guard. He looks what, sixteen? This kid should be getting his first BB gun, not guarding people with an AK-47.

Regardless of the fact that you can see the nearest Burmese military outpost on the next ridge, I think the guard was just for show. No one in the camp ever seemed concerned about an attack.

Village On The Ridge


The camp was set up on this beautiful ridge. While this means a 10 minute walk down to get water, the high position is far more defensible.

Small Boy

Small Boy

Shan Girls

Shan girls

House Construction

House Construction

Sai Sem talks with some of the villagers while looking over a house being built for more displaced people.

More Girls

Shan girls

Picking Up The Groceries

Carrying rice

The villagers, who have no way to buy food, are given rice by a Shan organization. They walk about 6 km (3.7 miles) each way to receive it.

I remember complaining about walking 6 blocks to get my mom some milk. I'm glad I never had to hear "Ken, could you walk three and a half miles to the store and pick me up a 40 pound bag of rice?"

Making Roof Thatch

Making roof thatch

The villagers have no way to make money with one exception: occasionally they are hired to make panels of roof thatch. They have to collect the palm fronds from the jungle, find and split bamboo, and weave the panels at the construction site.

Each 5-foot panel fetches 3 Thai Baht (2.6 cents US).


Page Revised 6/8/00