Ten is from Huay Ngu, a small Karen village in the Pai district (Northern Thailand). As a child growing up in a hill tribe village, he saw visitors coming to see his home and meet the White Karen people. Even at a young age, Ten could see that it would be useful to learn English and be able to work with tourists and people coming to Thailand.
After gaining a Bachelors Degree in Education with Sukhothai Thammathirat University and working as a school teacher, he went on to train and get his trekking guide licence.
Ten enjoys trekking and the opportunity to share the culture of the Hill tribes with visitors. He has a very good knowledge of the areas and geography, as well as being able to speak Thai and English, Ten can also speak some of the local dialects La hu, Chan and White Karen.
Ten says that “trekking is a good for your life, it makes you happy, with little stress”. He enjoys the freedom of this lifestyle and being outside in the forest or countryside. Ten also hopes to meet new people from other countries and lean more about other cultures and the world.
Ten also works with Ben, as a teacher in Tomato Village Learning Center, teaching English to the younger students in the evenings.
Ben was born in Burma in 1948 and aged 5, he went to school at the Delasall Missionary School, in the Twente District. Ben learnt to speak English here and continued learning until the military sized power in 1962. They closed all of the missionary schools and the children had to leave. Ben continued his education in Toungoo.
By 1974 the situation was getting worse and worse and Ben left to go to the Kareni Independence Land to help the people there. For 9 years Ben worked as a school teacher, with no salary.
In 1986 the Burmese army burnt down the villagers home and destroyed their villages, so they fled to Thailand. The people were living close to the border in makeshift camps, sometimes hiding and living in the forest. By 1987 Ben was working for the IRC (International Rescue Committee) for one year as a camp committee leader at Camp 1. However Ben had no wish to remain in the Camp on a longer term basis. Often they would have to move and relocate and freedom was limited. So Ben left to live a more free lifestyle, making a home with his family ( wife and 3 children) in the Tomato Village (Huay Ma kay Soam).
Ben worked as a trekking guide for several years, taking people around the Mae Hong Son area, and has a great deal of experience and knowledge about the area. Ben speaks 9 languages, including those of the local hill tribes.
Ben also started teaching English to a few of the village children, for a few baht. In 2004, Ben was able to find the necessary financial support from Child's Dream to build a classroom and open a school to teach English.