The Buffalo Herders

There was the village with its electricity; its fans, lights, TV’s, hotplate stoves and so on – basic for us but not for the villagers – and certainlly not for the water buffalo herders living outside the village.

Their lives were devoted to raising and keeping water buffalo, an important animal in rural Thailand, the equivalent of the cow in our wesern societies: milk, meat – but also a work animal used for ploughing the rice paddies for example.

But it was tough life. To reach their land involved driving over a rough dirt road, passable in the dry season but a different matter in the monsoon. They lived under a galvanised iron roof open on three sides. When someone went back to the village to stay with their extended family for the night, one person had to remain – otherwise there was the danger that someone would drive in with a ute and steal some of the water buffalo. 

They grew vegetables and kept chickens, but it was hard life alright and something I could see with my eyes and try to imagine in my mind but never really grasp – coming from a world obscenely privleged in comparison. 















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