hantos hantos hantos hantos
hantos hantos hantois hantos


Heart of the Mind. 
TC Holiday Trek  Christmas 2005.

In December 2005 Mr Keith Janke embarked on a mission to promote Beverley and myself to the prestigious position of ACN Team Coordinator.  As a wonderful surprise he also gave us a gift of 'something out of the ordinary', to do something out of our dreams!

Since we were on our way for a holiday in Thailand we thought it would be rather fun to jump out of our comfort zones and go on an adventure Trek into the remote hills of North Western Thailand, where Frangs (Thai for tourist) rarely tread. I might say this was Beverley’s idea, she being a keen walker with a spirit of adventure, I didn’t want to miss out and thought it would make a good story !!!

Day 1
A 3hour drive over dirt road in a Thai bus, (a Ute with seats in the back), we shuddered and shook all the way to the drop off point between there and nowhere…. Backpacks, sunscreen and hats on with bamboo walking sticks in hand we set forth with Mr Sweetie, trekking guide in thongs, turning back was not an option at this point, the bus had gone.  We walked for 3hrs it wasn’t to bad and I was surprised and relieved when we came to the first camp.

A 5 star view with basic resort facilities, naturally air cooled rooms and a western style toilet less the flush component!

The menu: roasted tadpoles or barbequed squirrel and rice, more rice and sticky rice, sangsom (rice rum) or Chang beer! Could we eat it?  We think we have it tuff this is basic living, where village life is hand to mouth, hunters and gatherers they have to find what they can to eat (like tadpoles) and grow rice.

Bedtime for the locals is when the sun goes down and the chooks sleep as waking time is pre dawn when the cocks crow.  Our beds were the floors with a thin, very thin mat, comfort is not a high value, and a heap of dusty blankets.

Day 2.
We rose early due to the uncomfortable bed. Today was our elephant trek through the jungle, very exciting proposition as we had seen other frangs safely riding in parks and on the road, this had the extra element of adventure attached, like we were alone in the hills no other English speaking frangs in sight.

The elephant wandered out of the jungle ridden by a small boy, looked safe enough, the traditional seat was put in place and we stepped on its head to get to the it, it was very high and much to my horror there was no bar across the front to hang onto.  The non English-speaking Mahout led us with his 3-year-old apprentice away from the safety of the village, Mr Sweetie our only English speaking contact stayed behind.
I was squealing with a mixture of glee and terror as we ventured the very, very steep to say the least terrain, in fact it was vertical in parts, hence the camera had to be put away. Beverley being very diplomatic assured me they had come this way before and knew what they were doing, sit back relax and all would be well (I could see the elephant foot prints on the hill ahead, so yes I could see the elephant had gone this way before).
This line of rational thinking calmed my concerns for a moment, until, the elephant a little stubborn by nature stopped turning his head to face the road less travelled, the jungle and didn’t intend turning back this tended to occur when the young apprentice was leading, shock horror to all my senses, “ ah, excuse me Mr Mahout, where are you?”  My head was spinning around looking for him not that I made any sense. Sure enough he was not far away, keeping a watchful eye on the apprentice and amused by my terror.

We arrived at the elephant stop, no Mr Sweetie to be seen. The hill tribe and the majority of Thailand work on elastic time, so we sat back and relaxed, patience is a virtue, we got to practise.

After a good solid 4hr uphill vertical walk beneath the hot sun, stopping for lunch of noodles and water we caught site of the next resort nestled amongst the trees so green. Exhausted, we were looking forward to a relaxing evening with a menu to tantalize our taste buds. 

We were greeted by a great number of very noisy chickens, pigs, oxen and very mal nourished dogs, a few of the children watched from afar, the adults very shy continued their daily chore of pounding the rice. The chair has not yet been discovered not one maybe as there is no flat ground, so we sat, lay or stood for the next 12 hrs until it was time to leave, the thing was we couldn’t wait to arrive because of total exhaustion and couldn’t wait to leave due to total discomfort.

Despite all the adversity and the language barrier certain human traits unite us, a smile is a smile in any language, a swollen arthritic knee is pain, a community working together for the benefit of the whole is a worthy ideal in any culture.

We had walked for five minutes when I surveyed the terrain and began to consider a relocation to village life, yes, that could be possible I could move in, grow, harvest, pound, sift, cook and eat and eat rice, I guess I could invent the chair and market it to villages, but why reinvent the wheel… I was committed to completion.

It seemed like out of the frying pan into the fire I couldn’t decide what was worse:
The dentist chair with a non-English speaking dentist (another story), training a new rep or walking vertically downs a very narrow (like as wide as my foot) path with a covering of fine dry gravely sand.

Sure footed Beverley ran like a mountain goat and I like a fish out of water slid, if it wasn’t for our guide Mr Sweetie I would now be in residence with the hill tribe, eating rice and being revered for my invention, the chair.

I have heard it said excellence is a commitment to completion.  Through the journey from commitment to completion we gained understanding, appreciation and gratitude for the simple things in life (chairs to mention one, hot water, spa baths, masseuses, fruit, vegetables the list goes on) it was a venture into the unknown way out of our comfort zones the place where doubt fear and trepidation live however with the guidance of one who had gone before and knew the way, the guiding light of experience enabled the excitement, learning, expansion, growth and fun to occur for each of us.

This process is not unlike sponsoring of a new representative into the business and the journey they embark on toward their vision of a life somewhat different to their current one, do they make it to the first village of 6 customers, onto the second and complete the journey to the goals they set or are they like the elephant stubborn wanting to go there own way.

It is the individuals responsibility and choice as to what level they achieve within A C N, it is ours to ensure we duplicate those who have gone before and know the way, thus lending a guiding light to transverse a path to the life you dream of in the heart of your mind.

Bev Morris and Rose Hantos

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