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Page 12 Akha Blog

Day 9 Monroe , Oregon
March 15, 2009
Rain all the way to Monroe

Day 8 Corvalis , Oregon
March 14, 2009
Cold weather and a long road.

Day 7 Monmouth, Oregon
March 13, 2009
We rest the horse and do some maintenance on the bus.

Day 6 Monmouth, Oregon
March 12, 2009
A beautiful day, we made really good time down into the light and sunny Willamette valley, out of the dark proverbial forest.
People in Fort Hill were really nice to us, we are glad we got the chance to visit.

We look forward to telling you about the needs of the Akha people.

Day 5 Fort Hill
March 11, 2009
We make it back to Fort Hill.
A long cold ride up through the Van Duzer corridor.
Hampton was feeling goosy and made a lot more work on the narrow roadway. There was lots of snow.

Day 4 Lincoln City Salt Water
March 10, 2009
I got up reasonably early and got the horse cleaned up a bit and saddled him up and we rode down in a really blowing coastal wind to the beach. Then in a bit I got the family down there too, looking for shells, and what ever else we could find. Kids they always find neat stuff. Ah Ngoh, he found some old car keys, pieces of drift wood, a few shells. Hampton didn't know what to think of the water and foam. Everywhere we go we hand out cards about the trip.

Day 3 Lincoln City
March 9, 2009
I got a late start. There was snow everywhere in Ft. Hill in the morning. I went and got some hay from a dairy farmer. Then I didn't get moving into the mountains further until 1pm when I thought the snow had eased a bit. But it still snowed and hailed on us all the way to Lincoln City. We got there about 10pm. As we entered Lincoln City it was dark and Hampton could hear the ocean. He knew what ever it was out there it had to be big. He looked around trying to see what it was. We parked the bus in town and then I loaded him up with some grain for the evening.

Day 2 Ride for Freedom
March 9, 2009
The morning started off with Cookie slamming around on the stake rope and then finally busting a 500 lb hook, bent the thing right open. Then she walked by me and took off all the way back to the barn at a run. So I made the decision to leave her behind, we can not afford a horse running off on us. So now it is just us and Hampton. Hampton is pretty stable. I miss leaving Cookie behind, but handed her off to a young woman who wanted a horse. Cookie is a sweetheart, just needs more work. Hampton, very settled and stable for the most part.

We leave for the mountains and make it through incredible wind into the mountains and by late evening to Ft. Hill. It rained for at least the last two hours. The people at the Ft. Hill store and Lounge were good to us. We camped the horse out back, rounded up hay, and waited for morning.

We Start the Ride For Freedom
Day One Was GREAT!
March 6, 2009
We started the Ride for Freedom today. Our last day at the stables. We wrapped up details in the morning and then by afternoon I had the horses out of the stables and on the move. I moved the horses along in turns, getting both of them used to being tied and seperated from each other for a bit. Hampton had the hardest time getting used to it, Cookie took it more in turn, just waiting till I got back. We found a place to stake them out and set up for the evening near Rickreal, Oregon on our way to Lincoln City on the coast. The horses are staked out, having a good time on the grass, eating well for the first time, grained, water and good air.

Everyone is really happy to be started along our way.

Moving Out - What we need
Dear Friends: We are still looking for a new driver, or even a person who can bicycle, or move along as a passenger. In some cases we have to move the horses one by one, so when one horse gets up to the bus I need someone who can watch that horse (tied on halter) while I go back and get the other one.

We are going to be moving over the same road a few times for the first week or so, till the horses get ironed out. Makes for a bit of work, two horses and a bus, one rider/driver.

At any rate we are all pretty excited about it.

We need your continued financial support:
There is a lot of information for free on this site. A lot more people come to the site and use the information than who are donors. We are glad for that, but at the same time we'd like to see more people make an occasional donation to keep new information coming and also to increase the work that we are able to accomplish in the time we have in this life to do it. So far we have been at this 17 years without pay. We are one of the longest human rights projects in SE Asia, and one of the oldest web sites as well. In ten years Akha.org has been down at the most for a couple of days.

Right now we still have a few hundred dollars in bills, Insurance, a couple pieces of tack we need for the horses, and more food reserves for inside the bus.

Make a pledge per mile, per month, do what you can to help.
We will be getting a modem for the project soon as we can raise some more cash, so that we can make our video updates each night. Right now we'd need another cash deposit at AT&T in order to do that.

We've got two great beautiful horses working along with us for Akha Human Rights. Won't you join in?

Rousting the Horses - time to go.
March 5, 2009
Getting the horses out and about, the bus is ready to go.
We need diesel and a couple bills, but we are ready to hit the road.
Too bad our driver didn't stick around.

A Happy Day For Us
Stable Bill Paid!
Vet Bill Paid!
Farrier Bill Paid!
Diesel and Paint Bill.........
March 5, 2009
Well, looks like there isn't much blocking us from heading out. We'd like a driver or a bicyclist to join us, but will get moving one way or the other. Got our bills paid, got grain for the horses and working on a bit of gear for the second horse.

But the bulk of the bills are gone, we are a bit happy. More than just a bit.
Now the new work begins.
Thanks to you who helped along the way, very much appreciated.

Door to Door Canvassing
March 3, 2009
This was our first effort at door to door canvassing as a family. We had a lot of fun and learned a lot.

It was clear to us that a lot of people still don't know about the Akha project or the Ride for Freedom and most of the people who we talked to were very interested to learn more. We appreciate that they took the time and that in many cases they also made a donation.

Fundraising to Bail the horses out of Jail
March 2, 2009
We all plan on how to get the horses out of jail and get on the trip. We have lost our driver, so we have to find another, but first we have to get our horses out of the stable. We all hold a meeting and make a plan on how to do it the Akha Way.

Akha people are so practical, just dive in and fix the situation.

Friday I did a small painting job, and some fundraising. Now we have to do some more canvassing.

Google Earth Blocks view of land being seized from Akha by Thai Queen's Royal Project
Feb. 28, 2009
Google Earth has blocked the satelite view of the land that is being taken by the Queen's Royal Project in north Thailand Ampur Mae Fahluang District, for both the villages of Hooh Yoh Akha and Pah Nmm Akha.

The northwest corner of the blocked area is 2020'9.58"N 9933'33.33"E, NE Corner is 2020'8.08"N 9935'34.62"E
Google should not cooperate with state oppression.

Oh My God!
The Water Tank is Leaking
I Quit! (Just Kidding)
Feb 29, 2009
As if on cue, fresh water started leaking from the bus while we were in Portland. On a machine this big, something can go. You better get used to grease under your fingernails and a bucket of gumption nearby.

So I dived into what seemed like an arduous job, but with the knowledge that there is often less to do than one thinks. Within two days, I had the tank out, the problem identified, AND repaired, and the tank back in, more educated about it all than before. The boys helped, and we got it on video.
Ride 6: Water Tank Repair

Fundraising in Portland
Feb 28, 2009
We went to Portland to hand out flyers and do some fundraising. Then we celebrated Ah Pymm's 2nd Birthday.
Ride 5: Fundraising in Portland

Plan B: Bicycle Across America?
Feb. 26, 2009
You watch the horses for an hour in the morning 6 AM.
We move the bus 12 miles and bicycle back to you.
You bicycle up to the bus and wait.
We arrive by horseback and move the bus another 12 miles.
Ride along for a month, two months, six months or the whole 9 yards.
971-388-7185

Driver Needed:
Ride for Freedom
Feb. 24, 2009
We are now looking for a new driver.
This is a volunteer position. Includes room and board.
Please call us if interested.
971-388-7185.

$300 from Departure
Feb. 24, 2009
We have nearly paid off our stable fees and vet bill.

The Linguists: Video
Feb.26, 2009
A film about endangered languages.
The Linguists

Harry Nicolaides Released From Prison In Thailand
Returns to Australia
Feb. 24, 2009
Harry Nicolaides was released after nearly six months in a Thai prison when the Australian Govt. finally asked for a Royal pardon. The Australian government was long tardy in coming to his aid. Harry is now in Melbourne taking care to regain his health. He did not know that his mother had suffered a stroke until his arrival at the airport. We wish both of them well.

$800 from Departure
Feb. 20, 2009
Just $800 in bills and diesel to raise and we are on our way. Just had Cookie's shoes reset and vet checks done.

Evaluation 2008
Feb. 13, 2009
Evaluation of our work over this last year.
Thank you to all our partners who helped make it successful, from donors, consultants and all those that supplied some form of support.
Evaluation 2008

Biography Shows On Czech TV
Feb. 6, 2009
"I Kidnapped My Family", a biography about our work in Thailand and getting my family safely out in 2005-2006.
I Kidnapped My Family

A hearty thanks to Jan Belohlavy and Tomas Ryska of the Czech Republic for their long work on this project and for their assistance to our family.

Prisoners of a White God to Show In Salem
Feb 6, 2009
The Czech Documentary "Prisoners of a White God" will show in Salem at BrownsTowne Lounge at 7PM on Monday, Feb. 9, 2009. Must be 21 years or older. The film from the Czech Republic discusses the removal of Akha children by missionaries in Thailand. 52 minutes. Donations to the Akha Heritage Foundation appreciated. BrownsTowne Lounge is located on Liberty Street downtown, next to the Reed Opera House.

Thanks to the Lady
Jan. 26, 2009
Thanks to the lady who stopped by and brought food and clothes for the children, always appreciated, we really thank you.

Ride for Freedom Videos Up
Jan.26, 2009
Ride for Freedom Videos number 3 and 4 are now up both on this site and on youtube.com/akhazauh.
On our site you can download the videos and keep them, play them again and again, or give them to friends, on youtube.com they are streaming.

Ride for Freedom 3
Ride for Freedom 4

Thai Navy Tows Rohingya Refugees to Sea, Hundreds Die
Jan 19, 2009
The Rohingyas are Muslim people who have been driven out of Burma by the govt. there for years.

Despite this fact, the US will still conduct its Cobra Gold military excercise with the Thai navy in early February.


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