THAILAND… Hiking the Rice Paddies – part 2

Country Life in Northeast Thailand

New Post on my YouTube Channel “Travel Guide and Photography”

The overall theme of this week’s video is a continuation of my morning hike. However prepare yourself for a heartbreaking story of determination and life. On my morning hike I met a remarkable man named Lerm and he is one of life’s heroes.

Lerm when he was fishing in one of the irrigation canals that weaves through a rice paddy in the rural countryside of Northeast Thailand. He allowed me to photograph and take videos of him as he fished the canal in hopes of feeding his family. Most of the fish are only 3-4 inches long but if you catch enough it becomes a meal.

Every morning Lerm carefully navigates down the steep bank to his boat. He balances himself and climbs into his small wooden boat partially filled with water and paddles the canal tending to his nets. Upon his return Lerm gathers a small handwoven basket that hold the days catch, places a “peg leg” of a reinforced cast that acts like a prosthetic limb on what remains of his lower leg and climbs back up the steep muddy bank.

Lerm lost the lower half of one of his legs from a venous ulceration years ago. He goes through his days routine of incredibly hard starting at dawn and never a complains. He has accepted what life has brought him without a second thought. I have an immense amount of respect for this man and he has become one of my heroes.

The next day my wife Pla went with me to the canal translate for me as I speak very little Thai. We had a photograph printed 8×12, framed and presented it to Lerm as a thank you. The image is the one used in the thumbnail for this video.

He looked down at the photograph and a smile came to his face. After a minute he looked at us and said “kob khun krap”… thank you in Thai. Then placed the photograph in his boat and offered us some of his fish, which we declined knowing that is food for his family before he paddled away to check his nets once again. It is me that was humbled by his story and I that received a gift from him.

On my morning hike, if the timing is right, I see Lerm working his nets. We wave, nod our heads at one another and go on with our day.

This video is a continuation of the sights and sounds of the previous weeks video of my morning hike through the rice paddies of Northeast Thailand. This is what it is like to live in a small farming community far from the usual tourist locations where most visiting Thailand travel. It is “Country Life in Northeast Thailand.”

Author: larry pannell

I started my career in photography as a professional photojournalist in 1979 at the time working with several newspapers and magazines in Southern California. What I loved most about photojournalism was its diversity and over my career I covered professional sports, concerts and travel. As life would have it mine took yet another turn and in 1988 I developed an interest in holistic medicine. I became a professional massage therapist specializing in sports medicine. In 1991 I decided to go to medical school and obtained a medical degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine and stared my career as a licensed acupuncture physician. After medical school I moved my practice to northern Idaho for a year before settling in the resort area of Sun Valley, Idaho. I’ve always been an outdoor person and hiking and backpacking the Rockies and fishing the pristine river waters and high altitude lakes offered me a wonderful photographic opportunity. In 2010 I left Sun Valley and I once again found myself on a cruise ship, this time working as an “Acupuncturist at Sea”. For the past seven years I have traveled to 85 countries, which has allowed me to photograph much of the world.

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