While I was in Chiang Mai I had the opportunity to work with an amazing Arts organization, Art Relief International, under the umbrella of a larger NGO, Cultural Canvas. Each day, we would travel to another, (sometimes 2), NGO's that served people in need. My work with orphans, HIV children, children with other physical or debilitating conditions became a life changing event for my self.
As a side project, I was asked to tutor Buddhist Monks and although I was hesitant initially out of fear of the unknown, I accepted the challenge and met 3 of the most amazing young men I have met to this point in my life. What started out as a challenge for my self has turned into an ongoing friendship that has had the opportunity to grow and flourish since that initial meeting.
In September of 2012, I returned to Chiang Mai to continue work with Art Relief International and spend as much time as possible with Phra's Kritsada, Yee and Khamla.
I recently sold 2 pieces of artwork and passed along the money to Phra Khamla who was raising funds to provide athletic equipment, books and other basic necessities desperately needed in rural schools in his home country, Laos.
This year, as part of my 49th birthday I will return to Chiang Mai to continue my volunteer work with those in need. I am in the planning stages of helping out at Art Relief International as well as providing tutoring to Monks and assistance to Professors at the Buddhist University in Chiang Mai. And as a result of my success in providing Phra Khamla with needed funds, we have decided to visit his homeland with Phra's Kritsada and Yee and with donations received here, we will visit and provide a number of schools with additionally needed items.
All of the 2012 Chiang Mai Edition prints that I am offering are printed by my self using oil based inks, 100% acid free paper and are suitable for framing.
Funds raised will help towards travel costs, lodging, donations to Lao schools and transportation to and from Thailand to laos for my self and Phra's Kritsada, Khamla and Yee.
It is my hope that I will raise enough money to suitably suppliment my own funds and provide enough financial assistance to be in Thailand from mid-September through the end of October.