Jasmine Valley

 

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Jasmine Valley Mekong Responsible Tourism

 

Rough Guide on Jasmine Valley

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Owen 's Story - in brief

Owen was born on an island off the coast of Papua New Guinea to Tinsley and Margaret Beck. He was the middle child of five kids. He lived in Australia most of his life, and besides many a creative career change (wetsuit design, clothing design, music, film), he has always had a heart for people and a passion for justice.

As a twenty-year-old, Owen lived in a surf-town called Torquay in Victoria, Australia, where he designed wetsuits. Once a week he would pick up teenagers who had run away from home to live the surfing life, and would give them all a good feed. It was greatly appreciated by these kids, who didn't really eat much other than canned baked beans!

During the late 1980s, Owen designed clothes and had a small retail outlet. On his way home on Saturdays, he would stop by in poorer neighbourhoods and give clothes to folks who looked like they needed them.

Owen married and had two children, Gracie and Noah. When they were five and ten years old, there was a family crisis and Owen decided to teach film as a career change which allowed him to be with Gracie and Noah during school holidays. An outward symbol of Owen's grief during the following 7 years was a beard that became a tangle of dreadlocks to below his belt. It was a particularly traumatic time for Owen and his family, and he decided to find people less fortunate than himself to engage with, as a catharsis. He, Gracie and Noah, went to a downtown park in Perth and asked some street-dwellers to join them in a barbecue. This became part of their regular weekly routine and there were eventually about fifty people gathering for a communal meal every Sunday. This was a wonderful time of reconcilliation between white Australians and Aboriginal Australians.

After the 2004 tsunami, Owen traveled to a town called Meulaboh in Aceh, solo, and documented his journey on video. He used the film to raise funds to buy bicycles for kids in an IDP camp (Internally Displaced People). He took his film to Christian Churches to raise money to support Fundamentalist Islamic people who were suffering, asking them to buy a bicycle as a Christmas present. This was another exercise in nurturing tolerance, peace and care for those unlike ourselves. On boxing day 2006 (the second anniversary of the tsunami), Owen and his ten-year-old son, Noah, delivered 270 bicycles to kids in Meulaboh. If you're interested, you can see more of this chapter of Owen's life here including videos and a study on trauma and storytelling that relates to this journey.

Around the same time, Owen began traveling to Cambodia with his students to make documentary films for the purpose of fund raising and awareness. In 2007, he met Jasmine at a cafe in Phnom Penh. They were both 'at a time in life' that made such a crossing of paths quite profound. Jasmine cut Owen's beard and they married six months later.

Owen wanted to build a place in a natural environment for his wife to be nourished, since she was deprived of the childhood nurture most take for granted. He wanted it to be a place where Cambodians would learn to respect nature as well as a place for travelers and Cambodian residents to relax in the jungle. The result is Jasmine Valley Eco-Resort.

Three years after opening for business, Owen has been able to take a back-seat and Jasmine has taken the helm. For someone with virtually no formal education, she is doing an incredible job.

 

great hornbills in Jasmine Valley, Kep, Cambodia

great views in Jasmine Valley, Kep, Cambodia

great roomss in Jasmine Valley, Kep, Cambodia

papaya in Jasmine Valley, Kep, Cambodia

Khmer waffles in Jasmine Valley, Kep, Cambodia

Papaya shakes in Jasmine Valley, Kep, Cambodia

Starfruit Cider in Jasmine Valley, Kep, Cambodia

night flower in Jasmine Valley, Kep, Cambodia

papaya flower in Jasmine Valley, Kep, Cambodia

swimmingin Jasmine Valley, Kep, Cambodia

creek flowing in Jasmine Valley, Kep, Cambodia

whip snake eating in Jasmine Valley, Kep, Cambodia

beetle in Jasmine Valley, Kep, Cambodia

monkey in Jasmine Valley, Kep, Cambodia

+855 (0)977 917 636 +855 (0)977 917 635
email info@jasminevalley.com