Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I would like to apologize for all you waiting with baited breath for my side of the Minge Self Portrait Challenge. There is this rule of threes for all failures and successes in life (but mostly failures) that I read about once. Three things must go wrong (or right) for there to be a horrible/lovely tipping this case I changed jobs to Art Director that increased my workload 10X. I hit the Muay Thai boxing gym hard this week which lead to making crazy fun Muay Thai friends who have tried to get me drink every night this week with varying success...AND my 4th card reader of the month broke after using it once...(grr...I am starting a real nice graveyard for all my broken SUPER cheap made in China CRAP!) AND I'm traveling to Burma tomorrow...All in all I know this is a pile of excuses, however a rain check is in order! I promise not one but TWO awesome self portraits on this coming Tuesday! Pinky promise! Until then please enjoy these photies from our past workshop:

Burmese refugees, immigrants, and hill tribes people tend to have a hard life in Thailand . Without proper papers their children are not allowed to attend school, have legal transportation or get a decent job. You will usually find the whole family on the streets selling strings of jasmine, babies strapped on backs and small children running around with grubby fingers begging. Or you will find them working in the hot sun in construction camps where they get terribly exploited and live in the surrounding slums. I run into my little Young Lion students while eating out at restaurants or sometimes even when going for drinks at bars because their parents will cart them around and drop them off to beg for money from foreigners. This also puts the children in dangerous situations where human trafficking occurs and where the jump from selling a few strings of jasmine and selling yourself is a very easy and encouraged one. It is a sad cycle that is only perpetuated by racism and lack of education.
Wat Pa Pao is a Shan temple that provides schooling for these children and gives them the chance to break out of this cycle of poverty and exploitation. It is not a well funded school, but the need is incredibly high for what they offer. The classrooms are located around an ancient old crumbling temple where teachers will take their classes to sit in the shade and teach. Some classes have 50 students varying significantly in age.
We went to Wat Pa Pao for just one art workshop which now seems to have become two or three. They adore us and because the children rarely have the luxury of art classes and meeting strange looking foreigners, they literally begged us to come back.

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