Provisioning for Surin Tai

It’s early morning. I got up at about 4 am to practice yoga and meditate. Uncertain when I’ll have another opportunity, it feels like a luxury to have these last few minutes to myself.

We board our van that’s bulging with tents, bags, pots, knives and gifts for the Moken.

The Moken are a culture of Sea Nomads. There are several different clans in south Thailand. The Moken live on Surin Tai, or south Surin Island. They’re best known for the society where no one was lost or injured during the 2004 tsunami because one of their elders realized that the birds had stopped singing and intuited a serious problem. He called all the families to board their vessels and head far out to sea. As a result, all were spared. This is just one of many examples of the intimate relationship these people have with the natural world.

Before boarding a moken vessel, we head to an outdoor market for provisions-vegetables, rice, green bananas, eggs. It’s a miracle the van can accommodate the provisions and us! 

With our hour-long marketing expedition over, we head for a landing where there are many Moken vessels. This is ours… the one that will carry us for the next five hours to Surin Tai. 

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