Russ Christensen and Sann Kyaw
has spent over four years with the Pa-O in the Mae Hong Son area of northern Thailand. He became interested in the people of Southeast Asia while serving as a U.S. army officer with the Twenty-fifth Infantry Division in Vietnam.
, an ethnic Pa-O, completed two years at University of Mandalay, before the pro-democracy uprising in 1988 when the universities were closed. He joined the Pa-O National Organization (PNO) military headquarters and served as a signal officer.