What about Surin?

Surin Province is on the high plateau of the northeastern region of Thailand . The area has always been drier and less fertile than other regions in the country. Majority of the land is heavy loam level and there are patches of communal rocky and wooded area.

The climate is humid most of the year and cools down during November to January. Rainy season comes in June to August and occasionally in November.

Adults and children speak Thai but normally they speak a native dialect originated in Surin called “Kui” or “Suai” and adopted languages from neighbor countries called “Lao” from Laos and “Khmer” from Cambodia . Buddhism is professed and practiced throughout the community.

Majority of the villagers are farmers. Their main crop is rice and this is mainly subsistence. Most families own their land varying from 3/4 hectare to 2 hectares. Some have small vegetable gardening in their backyards but produce mostly consumed by the family. Cattle raising is popular but slow growth and reproduction due to insufficient grazing fields and frequent attack of animal disease. Other income generating activity for women is silk weaving. To augment their meager income from farming, the villagers have to leave home from January to May and search for physical work in the capital and other provinces.

Many families struggle to make adequate income each day and do not have sufficient rice for food throughout the year. Their main diets are rice, vegetables, chili paste and fish predominantly. Children are typically under weight in terms of their height owing to lesser quantity and quality of their daily diet. Common ailments among children are colds, cough, fever, diarrhea and dengue fever. Treatment of illness is by nearest village health clinic or shaman and herbalist.

Rainwater collected in earthen jar or concrete water tanks during rainy season and dug ground wells are the people main source of drinking water. Many families have boreholes but the taste of the water is salty and mostly used for cooking and washing. The people use water reservoirs dug in the village for animals and agriculture. There are no irrigation structures and paddy fields are dependent on rains. Some farmers dig small ponds to collect rainfall from which water can be subsequently supplied by pumps to rice paddies or vegetable crops.

The village chief, officers and schoolteachers are main source of information to their villagers. Other sources are radios and televisions from middle –class-ranking family. Roads are good and getting around the village is by walking, bicycle, tractor carts and motorbike. Main public transportation to the town or city is by passenger pick- up truck and motorbike.