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Chapter VIII - Projects

Project 2: Eco villages without ideology

Project 1: K.P.T

VIII-01: Feel the spirit of a virgin tropical rain forest.

VIII-02: Absolute necessity to preserve the world's Asian natural heritage.

VIII-03: An opportunity to position yourselves as true nature's problems solvers.

Project 2: Eco Villages without ideology.

VIII-04: the Villages of Wholesome Life.

These painting created by an unknown Thai artist,  shows very well the traditional way of life. 

sens-de-la-vie.com needs your help to create the villages of wholesome life. (Ampéwi Nunpa)
Since the Nov. 18, 2001 you are th visit of sens-de-la-vie.com.

I assert (or he/she asserts), from a direct experience.

French version. & Thai version. & Spanish version. & Deutsch Übersetzung

The Villages of Wholesome Life

A simple observation.

The spirit that leads this creation.

The practical conception of the villages.

The first project.

The reasons why this project will succeed.

Useful formation about Thailand.

sens-de-la-vie.com's foundations, a simple challenge.

Second project: The Wholesome Villages.

Ji : the challenge

A simple observation

Wisdom, which comes from the simplest logic, would have been that the leaders of the world behave as the following way, in the interest of the Humanity:

to favour human societies' autarky,

to favour the energy sources and foods decentralization,

to favour the decentralization and spacing out human dwellings,

to increase the small autonomous energy sources (solar power station, micro water power plants, etc...),

to multiply and develop local natural food sources,

to protect the bio-diversity which is a source of supply accessible to all in times of crisis,

to delocalize for the benefit of small towns, production and life centers.

 In other words, fractioning the risks of destruction of a fragile civilization (that is dependent on technology) by the independence of the sources that provide our vital needs, and spacing out the places of life.
Well, they did the exact opposite !
This led to the actual conditions of urban life more and more unhealthier, so far that they are now very dangerous. A lot of people are aware of the situation and aspire to a simpler, healthier and more natural life -in short, a more pleasant life - in a refuge with no pollution, no stress and useless restlessness and agitation. But most of the people don't know how to escape the hell where they are living and they have no idea where to go. They also would like to have the opportunity to experiment this new way of life before completely giving up their actual way of living, which could lead them to brave multiples material problems.

As a result, my aim is to found these autonomous villages of wholesome life, at first in Thailand, since it's the country where I live.

In the first place, I only have to find the right location (which will not be hard to do) :

1° with sufficient and permanent natural supplies of pure water,

2° next to the place, some land that can be ploughed, flood-proof and where it's allowed to build by law,

3° adjoining a forest, as vast and intact as possible (there are still a lot here!),

4 ° the place has to be located near a traditional "moo baan" (a Thai village) of which the "pou Yai baan" (the Chief) sees no inconvenient in welcoming westerners (most of them are enthusiastic regarding the resources these people, who are for the most of them quite poor, can obtain) ;

5 ° not too far from a main town to be able to get supplied with industrial products, and for a convenient access to one of the local airports (Thai Airways provides a service to all the main cities in Thailand)

I will start to search for the right location as early as September 2003, and purchase the land immediately after I found that it fits the 5 points above. My objective is that everything has to be completed in 2004.

The Spirit that leads this Creation

Meow village and its fields in the mountains of South East Asia. Copyright sens-de-la-vie.com
Project: "The Villages of Wholesome Life"
Our aim is to create genuine small villages where life can be pleasant, healthy and autonomous. It concerns to create a viable alternative for all those who wish to change -or just experiment- a very new way of life, with absolutely no ideology.

We do not want to create a village to show something, such as a theory, or to live a special experience such as the new age communities suggest.

We simply want that people find a feeling of total well-being and can achieve to live the life they've always been dreaming about.

Our concept is simple:

1. Autarky, the refuge of life:

The basic principle of the village is a total independence. Autacy will make possible a kind of meditation, isolation, independence and security that many people are seeking for. This village will be a refuge of serene life, far from any kind of pollutions, aggressions and servitudes.

2. Natural resources and environment:

The residents will have to produce their own organic food, or to shop at the local food producers. (Farming will be done in small quantity, enough to live well). The village in itself will also provide employment -since it will be associated to a tourist resort for temporary visitors- and other kind of resources will obviously be welcomed. All the residents will have to avoid intervening on the nature as much possible as they can, because a durable independent life is only possible in a wholesome place. Dwellings will be spaced out.

3. An autonomous way of living and thinking:

The whole project is not linked with any ideology. Our goal is based on flexibility and tolerance. The residents -and only them- will have to find ideas or solutions to solve problems, and/or to propose new ways to consider how the matter can be solved. Each one will be free to choose his/her own way of living and thinking. But any collective decision will have to be discussed collectively. There will not be any specific rule of life. We trust in their common sense and wise judgement. Nevertheless, it's obvious that any decision must accord with local laws.

4. Human education:

We will also offer a Human Education Course, to learn the numerous behaviours that residents should observe. Mutual good relationships and respect of the others will be the basic teaching, to make possible a harmonious village of life. The village will also offer workshops with different activities. It will offer a huge free scope for creativity for the residents, since they will lead these activities by themselves. We can think about yoga, Tai-Chi, music, meditation, traditional dance, local cooking classes, and also learning from people coming from outside, invited by the residents, about their activities or their job. Anyway, residents are free to participate in these activities or not. As we already mentioned above: the main point is to live well, with oneself as well as with the others, by respecting everything and everyone around us. This is our main concern regarding the whole project.
A Big Project, but easy to realize:

In short, this village will be created only by choice of discovery, learning of new things, and improvement of knowledge as well as personal improvement.

The first step -that is very easy in Thailand- will be to find a native culture already established, able to facilitate the residents' independence on a long term. As a result, one of the residents' aims will be to know and understand the local culture, and to be able to adjust to it. This first stage completed, the residents will rest easy.

The second step is to be able to offer a continuity to this village, in its creative aspects as well as the refuge it offers. One of the main factors will be the quality of life we will propose to the residents, especially concerning leisure, local products, and the local villagers welcoming. This quality of life will widely contribute to their well-being.

Our success will be considered on the long term, and the principal condition to the realization of success is already explained above. Moreover, considering that the general wish will be to be able to live a wholesome and healthy life there should have no major problems coming from the residents of the village, and we are convinced that their happiness will be the best guarantee of the village's long life (Patrick L. & Alain).

Practical conception of the villages

Here are some practical facts to take into consideration:
A) Occupants: they could be permanent residents as well as vacationers who want to resource themselves, in a different way than the classical tour operators. The permanent community will be in charge of welcoming the temporary visitors.

B) Integration: westerners often carry mental pollutions from their birth (especially aggressiveness, but not only that...), and this is why most of them are not able to adjust themselves to Thailand, even if the country tolerates them. We will absolutely try to avoid these killjoy by a selection, followed by a training on Thai custom and politeness. Residents will also have to learn the language otherwise they will not be able to communicate with the local people.

Important remark: in Thailand, there is no generation ditch, and all the elders are respected. Thai people do not criticize, do not make fun of the others and do not judge: for them, it's a natural way of being. Smiling, perfect politeness, patience, never rising the tone, and respect are their usual human relationship norms. Getting angry or rising the tone, as it's so usual in the western world, would bring about to lose the Thais' esteem, and even to expose oneself to their contempt or violence -which is instantaneous and strong- in case of a serious insult.

C) The size: should not exceed 10 / 12 houses, because the authorizations would be longer to obtain to build more dwellings.

D) Autarky: once the water and the food autarky obtained, it will remain the electricity that will technically be easy to get but probably quite expensive regarding the solar panels investment: we will have to import them, and I think that the import taxes should be quite heavy. We will need the help of foreign experts: the best regarding solar power certainly are the Australians.

Nota : we also can envisage diesel generators since these engines can work with palm oil, which is a local production, and it would avoid the arduous management of the batteries that are necessary to the solar energy. Cf: http://perso.wanadoo.fr/philippelopes/Phys30010Nouveaux%20carburants.htm.

E) Work: it's possible to work in Thailand but foreigners need a work permit, that is not allowed to all professions. Some professions are only allowed to Thai people. Nevertheless, I know that some French people have created farms in Thailand, and I will try to get more information about the way they work.

F) Marijuana et drugs: the use, possession or selling of drugs are severely punished in Thailand. I am not personally concerned at all because I am totally virgin in this matter. And I know that "joints" of marijuana are very popular in the western world, so people living in the village should avoid it -or take a very big risk: only one joint and you may go to jail for 2 years! Regarding the "quality of life" in Thai prisons I do not recommend anybody to try such an experience, and I will be very intransigent on this point.

G) Activities: each village should have one or many meeting points (the village's heart-s-) that allow the residents to practice the activities they prefer -meditation, cooking classes, etc...-. We have to plan the structure(s) but we think that nothing has to be imposed, and certainly not a compulsory presence of the residents like at the mass!

H) Village management and its financial resources (investment and concern): regarding Thai laws non-lucrative associations are unknown, and foundations only can be created by obtaining a Royal Authorization that is nearly impossible to get, regarding all the conditions to fulfill. As a result, the only possible structure is a Company limited, of which 51% of the shares must be hold by Thais (which is not a problem).

i) Visas: no problem.

J) Food: traditionally, residents of these kind of villages produce their own organic food, which is obviously what we aim to do for those who enjoy small farming. But I would like to emphasize that this activity will not be essential because farmers from Issaan (North-Eastern Thailand), where we plan to build the first village, ONLY produce natural products; and the prices are so low that I doubt we can do better than they do.

L) The village's resources to trade with the "world outside": will mainly come from the temporary visitors who come to resource themselves (resort aspect), more than from farming even if it can become an interesting activity if it's specialized in the production of innovative food products that are easy to trade.

M) Way of working: concerning the internal management of these small human communities, I do not want to intervene on this "politic" aspect, because Life is a Source that creates diversity that we can not limit; Residents will decide altogether by themselves.

N) Ideology Zero: all the communities founded on ideologies have failed, as we know. Then if there is absolutely no ideology in our villages, and that their residents are free to invent or test whatever suits them the best and have the opportunity/freedom to change until they find their own private way... How could we fail? I think that it will be interesting to see what solutions the residents will invent. My point of view, mainly inspired by the American Indians, is to refuse the so-called democracy that allows the majority to impose to the minority what it refuses. I think that the only rule is that the agreement must be accepted unanimously by all the parties. Interesting discussions should take place under the "Tepee" of the committee!

O) In case of insoluble disagreement: the solution will be to allow the minority to found its own village of wholesome life in accordance with the rules it advocates and give this community concrete possibilities.
Synthesis
In a word: there is not only one model of village of life which implies self-determination and freedom to found villages of different spirits and different types, as well as financial support... and it's on its way! My opinion is that each village should work like an ordinary "resort", except in its specificities that have to respect the spirit of its creation.
You will be given some more precise information shortly.

Issan dancer girl.

The First Village

The first village will be built somewhere in the North-East of Thailand, called "Issaan" in Thai language, of which the population originally comes from Laos.

Issan food.

The legendary kindness, excellent and varied cuisine, entertaining and pleasant music, traditional dances, and all the beautiful traditions of the Issaan people are highly appreciated by the Thais from the other provinces as well as numerous westerners.

Moreover, the northern part of this province offers a climate -cooler and less humid- that is more temperate (much like "Provence", a southern French province). The place to build the village will be definitely set before the end of the year 2003.

Regarding my personal experience, the most comfortable dwellings are wooden houses. Here are some samples of the Thai traditional houses that you can easily afford, as they are locally produced.

The house on the left is a kind of activity/meeting room completely opened on the nature (all windows are foldable),

while the house on the right is a typical Thai style dwelling.

FYI: a luxurious house of 70 m² -at the second floor (which is 140 m² living space if you fit out the first floor into a living area) made in teak wood as the one above, costs about 43,000 Euros -teak furniture included: and this is the most expansive kind of wooden house in the country! Houses made of concrete, bricks and ceramic, that are lovely too, cost a little more than 50% than wooden houses.

Anyway, if you are still young and brave enough you still can build a traditional hut by yourself, such as the one below, which is accessible to any budgets.
The price of the lands in the Issaan province are very cheap, about 2,000 Euros per "Rai" that is 1600 Meter square. Nevertheless, in the South of the country price a a lot more expensive: 22,000 - 88,000 Euros for the same area.

The reasons why this project will succeed:

In my childhood (1940's-1950's ) almost all the villages were Villages of Life in a way, likewise all the Issaan (North-Eastern Thailand) villages are still, at the present time, all Villages of Life. This point seriously simplifies our project that makes use of all these major assets to succeed.

The first asset resides in the fact that what we want already exists at the natural state!

In my opinion, a village of Life -which means respectful of the environment and independent- is possible only if the villagers adjust themselves to the traditions and the know-how -ancient but still alive- of an already existing "friendly" community, and if they also can adapt to their new lives in a pragmatic way. Now, the "know-how" already exists where we plan to build the village, and the last thing that will need to be cleared for the future residents is a proper training for their new life: and we are highly competent for this kind of task. We will just have to train them to live in osmosis with the nature and to understand (and respect) a new culture -that is also very pleasant. The rest is only a question of personal adjustment and invention of simple solutions.

The second asset resides in the state of mind (free from any doctrine) that will lead these villages.

Another important point is: "ideology-zero", which means it is not essential that all the means to do everything possible should be only organic, even if most of the products will be of this nature (no fundamentalism!). And if it's more practical to temporarily use non-organic means or products, we will do it! There is a big difference between adjusting our own needs with the environment -with respect, flexibility and no doctrine-, than destroying everything blindly just like the actual industrial civilization presently does. We think that a step towards "the good" is still better than stagnation in "the bad". This is where our way of thinking makes the difference because of its flexibility, and this is why our "Villages of Wholesome Life" will succeed.

The third asset resides in the fact that this project fits very strong human feelings:

01 - A wholesome place and way of life.

02 - A gentle ecology adapted to the environment.

03 - Rejection of the fashionable ideologies and fake spiritualities.

04 - Economical autonomy.

05 - Self-management by the residents.

06 - Search of a balance between soul and spirit through resourcing spiritual and authentic activities.

07 - Real training of the 21th century executives/elites.

08 - New feelings and exotism.

09 - High quality leisure for a very cheap cost.

10 - A very friendly human indigenous environment.

the fourth asset resides in the fact that all the costs will be very cheap.

 
To be followed ...

Useful Information about Thailand

Many people asked me important questions concerning Thailand and its laws. I divided these questions in two groups, the first concerning:
Regulations concerning Thai children adoption,

The rights to own a land in Thailand,

Work permits in Thailand,

Professions forbidden to aliens,

Marriage in Thailand,

Visas, immigration, and how to obtain the Thai nationality.

I do not see the necessity to do again what already exists: you can find all the answers to these questions on the following websites. (warning:these websites are in French language).

Click on the Thai flags:

http://www.franco-thai.com/ de Patrice Thiroloix. many things about Thai culture, useful information, Thai and foreign media, forum & chat, F.A.Q.

http://www.franco-thai.com/loi_thai.html. This very interesting website -by Mr. Patrice- will give you information about Thai laws.

http://bottu.org/histoire_ndx.htm Mr. Alain Bottu invites you to discover Thailand. You will discover fruit carving, Thai food recipes from his wife Wongniphon and some tremendous pictures. Thai history is well explained with some interesting anecdotes.

For the moment this sites are in French, but soon I will found similar in English.

Answers to other F.A.Q.:

Are the formalities complicated?

Answer: The first time you have a look at Thai laws concerning the rights to own a land, work permits, marriage with a Thai person, or visas and immigration may look very complicated and impossible.

I've been living here since 1995, and I know from my own experience that all of these conspicuous problems have a simple solution, according to Thai laws. Moreover, Thai officials -who are quite meticulous regarding the official formalities- are very helpful and accommodating to the foreigners who behave properly and politely.

Is the country secure ?
Answer: personal safety is a hundred times bigger than in western countries, which is a fact that a few westerners understand! It's due to the Thai culture that avoids (free) violence, the efficiency of Thai Police Corps and above all, the "Smiling culture" or what they call the "Mai pen rai" -a kind of "don't worry, be happy!"

How to make a living in Thailand? How to earn money to live?

Answer: Most of the westerners work in the service field: which means that they have their own company or they are employed by international -or Thai- firms. Actually, the company that will create this Village of Wholesome Life will have the right to employ foreigners for different fields (hospitality or other) because the village will be associated to a resort. Here is the list of the profession that foreigners can not perform:

Architect - Hat craftsman - Hairdresser or Beautician - Motorized vehicles driver (except for aviation) - Accountant - Dressmaking or weaving - Courtage - Shoe repairer - Silk drawing - Thai musical instruments manufacture - Hand-made silk products manufacture - Knives manufacture - paper or material umbrellas manufacture - Thai dolls manufacture - Guide - Building work, carpentry or any buuilding job - Cigarette Manufacture - Ceramic potter - Buddha manufacturer - Wood carvings - Secretary - Interior decorator - Manual work - Any farming, fishing or forest work - Jewels work - Work on bamboo, straw or reed - Auctions - Street vendor - Shop seller.

Various questions about water, electricity, internet and mobile phones:

Answer: drinkable water resources are large and easy to find; personally, I drink the water from my own well and I do not need to purify it, because it's useless. The electric autonomy will be provided by diesel generators that can work with the local palm oil. Internet connection will be made with satellite -that I am actually using, for a cost of 65 Euros per month (unlimited connection). You can find cyber Cafes here more than everywhere else in the world. And mobile phones connection are excellent throughout the country.
 

Sens-de-la-vie.com will be here to help all of those who will decide to start a new life in Thailand, a marvellous country. The best is that you come to discover this country by yourself when the project will be ready.

You can help this project right now by clicking on the "OK" below, read this donation's chapter, and then close the window. Thank you.

 

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Updated September 1st, 2005