We Are Wealthy Beyond Belief

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Those of us who live in the U.S. oftentimes forget how wealthy we truly are. That might sound trite, but consider how valuable having running water is to your life. You don’t have to carry it up from the stream every day which happens to be half-a-mile away.

When you want to cook, brush your teeth or take a shower, you simply turn on the tap. Not so for the Lisu Villages just outside Mae Hong Son, Thailand.

We Are Wealthy Beyond Belief

Dirt roads link homes together in this Lisu village

Having affordable electricity is also something we in the States take for granted. For these villagers, that fact is life changing.

We Are Wealthy Beyond Belief

Laundry day in the village

This is the village’s source of running water. Whether it’s for washing clothes or for making soup, residents delight in simply turning on the faucet.

We Are Wealthy Beyond Belief

Preparing to weave strips for her roof with collected leaves from her village

This woman is in her  50′s, and told us that she has 10 children. Here, she is preparing to make another row of dried leaf shingle for the roof tops of the village houses. Some shingles are brought to town and sold to the city dwellers of Mae Hong Son.

We Are Wealthy Beyond Belief

Young woman weaving leaves together to sell in town

At 20, this daughter’s own baby is in a carriage behind her as she weaves the split bamboo thread through each leaf. Rows of completed leaf shingles are piled up to the right.

We Are Wealthy Beyond Belief

Stacking up rows of woven leaves

After weaving, she meticulously stacks the leaf shingles in rows. If you look closely in this photo, you can see inside the split bamboo house with its dirt flooring and more bamboo interior walls.

I remember the first time I saw dirt floors in indigenous homes, I was startled. Growing up with the phrase “dirt poor” I had no idea there was truth to the saying.

We Are Wealthy Beyond Belief

The finished product

Roofing is changed yearly, so the industriousness of the women in the village is not only a necessary and practical skill, but these woven rows of leaves that are sold in town bring in extra income to the household.

To read the full story on this village, click here

About Retire Early Lifestyle

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired two decades ago at the age of 38 and began traveling the world. As recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance and world travel, they have been interviewed about retirement issues by The Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, The Motley Fool Rule Your Retirement newsletter, nationally syndicated radio talk shows and countless newspapers and TV shows nationally and worldwide. They wrote the popular books The Adventurer's Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible.
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