Tigers and Elephants, Oh My!

Lilytiger  Elephant1

Elephant2Tigerweb
We had a great day yesterday riding elephants and petting tigers. Something tells me that liability may be less of an issue in Thailand than in the States. :) This trip has been an amazing time for Nancy to reconnect with old friends, and for the rest of us to make new friends.

In the midst of our adventures I am trying to keep an eye on the local economy and the life of workers here. Part of our year of local consumption was to visit and get to know the people that grow and produce the items we consume. We picked Thailand as a place we could buy from during the year and just like we did field trips in the Inland Northwest, we see this trip as a way to connect with the people we've been buying items from during the year. My initial observation is not so much about how our consumption effects people here, but at how self-contained and local most of life here is for people. The grocery stores are huge farmers markets selling direct to their neighborhood. In Bangkok, every alleyway was a little micro-market with stalls of steaming noodles and fresh fruits.

Tomorrow we go up into the hills to Chiangdao to visit UHDP and see what they are doing with local farmers to develop sustainable practices. Go here and here previous posts on UHDP.