Type your search keyword, and press enter

About the Author


Cool Gift from Japan

This is not just a map, but a “tactile map”.
It’s a map which you can feel the landmarks and roads by touch.
It’s labled in Braille too, so Braille readers can read the map on our own.
I got this wonderful gift from Prof. Tetsuya Watanabe at Niigata University.
It’s so exciting to make many discoveries after 5 years of living in Chiang Mai 🙂
For instance, I didn’t realize how far out airport and the bus terminal are from the main square of the city.
I will bring a copy to the blind school in Chiang Mai, so that the children can learn the map of their city.

Thank you so much, Watanabe-sensei!!

Jump to Science 2015

Jump to Science 2015 group photo

From Aug. 12th to 15th, I participated in Jump to Science 2015 in Aichi, Japan.
18 students with visual impairment aged 12 to 18 participated to do various workshops in the math and science field, and just have tons of fun together day and night!
I was honored to be invited as a resource person to share my experience in Thailand, but I enjoyed my time so much, playing games, cooking, and chatting with new friends.
All grownups put so much effort to make this camp a fun event for the children.
And I was constantly amazed how proactive, expressive, and curious these students were! To be honest, much more than so-called non-disabled students of the same age from Japan.
So grateful for this unique opportunity to meet wonderful people of all ages from different background.
My Thai friends, let’s do something like this in Thailand!

Revelation at the Beauty Shop

Yoshimi with two pairs of scissors

For 32 years, I have no idea how many times I have my hair cut, but this very day, I have got a chance to touch their scissors for the first time in life!
You see, for blind kids (and grownup kids like me), if we don’t have a chance just to touch, we have no idea how anything look like.
I have always imagined that they must be much bigger scissors.
It may be something so trivial for you who can see, but it’s very important memory for me now.
You cannot imagine how many things around our life I have no idea how their shapes are, like doctor’s instruments, things that are used in professional kitchen, etc. etc., just because we don’t have a chance to feel them with our 2 little hands tongue emoticon
If you know any blind kids, let them feel everything around them! It’s easier to do when they are small–a bit awkward to ask when we are grown up, hahaha.

Mud + Rice Husk + Hard Work of Many = Beautiful Classroom

Little Smiles Center Opening Day

Today, we opened our third early childhood center, Little Smiles Center, in Mae Waen Noi Village, Mae Waen Sub District, Phrao, Chiang Mai. This will be the biggest center, starting in May with 16 Lisu tribe children and 2 staff. Many people say that the building looks the most gorgeous, too!

The building would not have been here if it was not for the enormous support given by Eco Peace, a nonprofit organization in Japan, who sponsored the entire construction cost for us. We must also mention that this is the result of continuous hard work by Albert and Peter, volunteers from the Dragonfly Community Foundation, who designed and built it as the team leaders together with the entire village of Mae Waen Noi Village. Our British volunteers, Charlotte and Esme, contributed a lot as well, participating in every step starting from brick-making, all the way to decorating the outer walls with delicate mosaic made of broken tiles and glasses.

Since we started this projects, there has been some moments that we thought we may need to cancel the project due to some difficulties, but we could welcome this day thanks to the perseverance and encouragement from many of you.

We will be closed for a week for Thai new year holidays, so please be patient to wait for the other photos of this event.

Thank you so much for your help, and happy Songkran to everyone!

Unforgettable Sunday

Yoshimi with the happy couple

Parn has been my close friend since 2004, my first year in Thailand. We have been sharing a tiny tiny room in the suburb of Bangkok off and on for nearly 10 years.
On Sunday, she got married to Aba-chan, a Japanese guy who is running an organic farm at the foot of Mt. Fuji.
Next month, she will go to Japan to live with her husband.
Not having her in Thailand is just the same as losing a real sister.
But at the same time, I will have a new friend who will be in Japan when I go home.
Parn and Aba-chan, congratulations again for the memorable day of your life. I’m glad that you have found each other whom you can count on all the time.
Life is not always romantic. For sure, you will have bitter arguments and awkward moments from time to time.
When you feel tired and fed up with each other, look at the photos of your wedding, and remember us who are wishing all the best for both of us.
Happy happy wedding na!

Story of Audio Books from My Heart by Mr. Ake

Mr. Ake was one of the participants at our audio book production workshop, held in March this year. After learning the techniques, he set up a group called “Audio Book from My Heart” at Phrao Withayakhom School where he works as an English teacher.

Throughout this term, all of the fifteen members in the group learned how to read out loud, and read one picture book each, which will be burned onto CDs, and distributed to around a dozen blind schools in the country.

ARC does not have a professional sound studio, and our Rang Mai Library has too much echo for the recording. So I tidied up my little bedroom a little, and used the portable recording box to absorb the echo.

I was amazed how motivated all the students were, and they picked perfect book for their own voice. In the stiflingly-hot bedroom with doors and windows closed and fan turned off, we had so much fun thinking about the voice of each character and making different versions passage after passage.

We truly appreciate the initiative of Mr. Ake, and the hard work that all of these fifteen young volunteers put in this project! Surely, it will be enjoyed by hundreds of blind children and even beyond that 🙂

Lost in Translation in Yangon

Recently I often go to Yangon for the work of ICEVI Higher Education Initiative. This time, I stayed at Hotel Glory near the blind school under Ministry of Social Welfare.

For lunch today, I ordered pork salad for lunch. They brought a big plate of salad, and I found some shrimps in it. I ate more, and I found more shrimps. Pork was never to be found. I was wondering if my tongue also went blind as well.

So after I finished the meal, I asked the waiter that I didn’t find pork. We had some communication trial, and after involving a few more spectators around, we finally found out that he thought I said “prawn salad” instead of “pork salad”. This is a little and typical challenge I face in a country where I cannot speak their language. I cannot just point at the dish that my neighboring customer is eating and say “I want THIS one,” you know :p

Oh, well, it was quite tasty, so no problem, and I’m glad that I found the answer for the mystery of pork salad without pork. And I’m even more happy that my tongue was not totally blind after all.

Beauty of Bangkok People

This evening, I flew back from Yangon, and took a taxi at the airport. As I got off in front of my street, the rain started to pour like the sky turned the bucket upside down. I waited and waited for the rain to stop by the roadside, but it didn’t stop at all.

Finally, the lady who sells papaya salad across the street came over, and asked her brother to fetch me on his motorbike. I was almost soaked wet, but my inside is so warm with this act of kindness.

Moments like this really refresh my love for Bangkok. Within the caotic city full of ugly things, I have found countless people like this, going way beyond their way to help me. Yes, this is why I fell in love with this country, as Bangkok consists of people who come from all over Thailand.

Big Three

I’ve been 30 years old for 1 week already! Yes, the big three came and has become a part of me, but I don’t feel that I have changed the slightest.

Everyone, thank you very much for wishing me happy birthday. Thanks to the help of all the people, I have lived for 3 decades in this world already! Quite unbelievable when I come to think of it.

On my 30th birthday, I got 3 big birthday cakes! The best part is that I got to share them with my beloved ARC family and the young future-bearers of Phrao at Rang Mai Library. Thank you, guys, for such a memorable day in my life.

My 20’s was full of transitions and new experiences. I’m quite anxious to know what is waiting for me in my 30’s. We grow older every year anyway, so we might as well enjoy it, right?

Thanks again, and keep in touch!!

Letter from Bookworms: Jul. 2012

Letter from Bookworms: Jul. 2012


Dear friends and supporters,


Sawasdee kha. Warm greetings from Phrao, Chiangmai.

We are in the middle of rainy season, and are about to welcome the lamyai season.


Lamyai, or longan in English, is a sweet and juicy fruit, which is one of the main crops in this area. Now, the tree branches are heavy with fruits, waiting to be harvested.


Our project has grown quite a lot over this few months. Some of you may have been following us on Facebook, but let me try to sum up what has been happening to this 2-year-old toddler called ARC. Here is the menu for today!


1. Sunshine Kids Center in Action!

2. Glimpse into Our Mobile Library Visits in Villages

3. ARC Library in Phrao Town in Need

4. Introduction of ARC Staff in the North

5. New Social Media: Causes.com

6. Help us to spread the words!


Bon appetit!



1. Sunshine Kids Center in Action!

The early childhood learning center for Akha children, now named Sunshine Kids Center, was born as a result of hard work of many people over January through April.


One person that we must mention here is Mr. Daniel Lockwood at the Dragonfly Community Foundation. With his expertise, we were able to build a beautiful mud house to be used as the classroom. On May 18, with our sponsor Mr. Katsuhiro Mizuno, 10 children from age 2 to 6, started to learn Thai and Akha language, basic math, and many other life skills. Please be proud, as your support has resulted in opening door for education for all the children!



2. Glimpse into Our Mobile Library Visits in Villages

We mainly visit book lovers who happen to have difficulty in visiting our library. Books cannot walk, so we walk on behalf of them, right?


For instance, this grandpa, Taa Inta, is 89 years old, and has lost most of hearing.


As his children are working outside all day, he is mostly bound to home. He is the only Christian in the family, and LOVES reading. The moment we bring the books, he immediately starts to read!


Another regular customer is this adorable girl, N’Waeo.


She is in her early teen, but is not enrolled in education as she has developmental disability. Although she cannot read, she is so happy to see books with lively pictures of animals and friends. We are planning to bring books with music and see if we could play an interactive game with her.



3. ARC Library in Phrao Town in Need

Our library base on the site of Warm Heart Foundation is getting too small for us. Now that we have over 1000 books, we are quite desperately in need of another place to keep some of them. So at the beginning of July, I have moved into a two-storey flat in Phrao Town. I will live upstairs, and the entire first floor (about 40 square meters) will be used as community library and office.


But as you can see on this photo, it’s so empty at this moment because we hardly have any furniture—bookshelves, desks, etc. In order to make this place appropriate for a library, we roughly need 90,000 baht (or 835 USD). We are planning to do a big online fundraising, so please help us to reach out to more people once started.



4. Introduction of ARC Staff in the North

Can you believe that we now have 2 paid staff at ARC? These powerful ladies are untradable assets for ARC now. Let me introduce them briefly.


Ms. Orapin Sata (Tuu)

Position: project assistant

“Active, straightforward, and fun-loving”



She is stationed in Phrao, Chiangmai, which is her hometown. Ever since she joined ARC as its first full time staff in February this year, she has been supporting me in countless ways: driving around on her mighty motorbike, organizing our library, preparing various documents, etc.


Ms. Ahmee Biapa (P’Nalae)

Position: Teacher at Sunshine Kids Center

“Lively, strong, and caring”


She is the main pillar for the Sunshine Kids Center. Three days a week, she teaches 10 unstoppable children in her village, how to read and write, to count, to sing and dance—simply to live as a happy child of the world. By the way, she is a great cook as well J



5. New Social Media: Causes.com

In addition to Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube, we now have a new social media platform on Causes.com. This is another way to promote our activities, and also is going to be used as fundraising platform, connected to our Pay Pal account. Please check it out, join the cause, and write why you support the cause to spread the words.





6. Help us to spread the words!

Thank you for reading all the way through. Last but not least, all staff at ARC appreciates your continuous support. Children are our future, and we do want to help open their window into the world through reading, but all the activities would not have been possible without your support. We would be very happy if you could spread the words about us to your friends and colleagues so that we can reach out to more potential bookworms here in Thailand. Here are some ways that you can join our caravan.


  1. Monetary Donation:

We are currently in the process of registration as an official organization in Thailand. In the meantime, please use the following bank account. This account is to be used only for ARC activities.

Account Holder: Yoshimi Horiuchi
Bank name: Thai Military Bank
Branch: Arkhaan Yada (Yada Building) Silom branch
Bank No.: Savings Account 232-204-9202

2. Books Donation:
Please send any type of new or gently-used books (except for textbooks) to either of the following addresses. We are mainly in need of books written in Thai language, but English picture books would be equally appreciated.
Ms. Yoshimi Horiuchi
Urai Apartment 209
70 Krungthonburi Rd, Soi 4
Banglamphulang, Khlongsan,
Bangkok 10600
Yoshimi Horiuchi
c/o Warm Heart PO Box 8
T. Wiang, A. Phrao, Chiangmai 50190

3. Volunteers:
Wherever you are, whatever you are good at, we are always happy to welcome you as our volunteer. If you are interested, please send your inquiry first. If you already know what you would like to do, please send your CV directly.
Email: volunteer@alwaysreadingcaravan.org
Our director, Yoshimi Horiuchi, can be reached at
in Thai, English, or Japanese.






Yoshimi Horiuchi

Director/Founder, Always Reading Caravan (ARC)

235/2 M. 2, T. Wiang, A. Phrao, Chiangmai 50190 Thailand


Email: yoshimi.horiuchi@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/yoshimiarc

Twitter: www.twitter.com/yoshimiarc

Mobile in Thailand: (+66) 83-542-7283