This morning we went back to re-interview Mr La Ong Dao, village leader at Bo Luk Lang village and key player in the model project for Sa Kaew Province. We had filmed him on the fly on Monday, but were so impressed with him that we wanted more time. Mr La Ong Dao is quite unique in that unlike many village people who are University educated he chose to return to his village rather than go to a comfortable city job. He is doing a fantastic job in leading by example. Through his efforts they have a community information system and a community bank. Now he is leading by example to develop more sustainable land use and address the very real effects of land degradation and climate change that they are experiencing. He has a bet with Ajarn Yak that he will achieve higher yields than Ajarn Yak is predicting, and he is very confident of winning the bet. He says that he is a winner!! I am going to do my very best to come back in the next couple of years to witness the transformation.
Footnote: When back in Thailand briefly in March 2010 I asked about how Mr La Ong Dao had gone. I was told that he has not yet won his bet with Ajarn Yak and has become a NATO (No Action Talk Only) person.