A trip to a Thai elementary school: a photo essay

Most of the time at Elephant Nature Park is spent at the park, caring for elephants and helping maintain the facilities. However, our calendar of volunteer activities clearly shows that on Thursday, we are heading out of the park to do some volunteer work at the village elementary school with the kids. I love myContinue reading “A trip to a Thai elementary school: a photo essay”

Knee-deep in mud: the planting grass adventure

Thank goodness I am wearing boots, because otherwise, when I am knee-deep in the thick, gloppy mud in the humid and overcast afternoon, my foot would come shooting out and cause me to face plant it into the neat little rows of grass we are planting. Our afternoon volunteer activity is another labor-intensive experience. ThisContinue reading “Knee-deep in mud: the planting grass adventure”

An inside look at Elephant Nature Park

Chai hands us each a huge bundle of bananas as we suit up in our rain gear. “For our walk,” he explains. I pull on my gum boots (with socks this time) and pull my poncho over my head, tucking my camera under it securely so it won’t get rained on. The clouds have beenContinue reading “An inside look at Elephant Nature Park”

They gave me a machete: a true story of corn-cutting

Our group of 10 piles into the back of a pickup truck at 8 a.m. We’re covered head-to-toe, largely to avoid ants crawling down our clothing and nipping us. I’ve got on a hat with fabric flaps, a long-sleeved shirt, a T-shirt, leggings, gum boots, and a pair of gloves. And, I’m not as coveredContinue reading “They gave me a machete: a true story of corn-cutting”

Speaking for the Elephants … in memory of Mae Sai Roong

Yesterday morning, when I turned on my computer after a night of restlessness, my heart sank. There, on the screen, were two Facebook status updates. One from the Elephant Nature Park & Foundation page stating Mae Sai Roong, an elephant our volunteer group had taken care of when she fell ill on Sept. 10, hadContinue reading “Speaking for the Elephants … in memory of Mae Sai Roong”

An introduction to Valdelavilla

By the time Marisa was done explaining our jobs for the six days, I began to question exactly what I had gotten myself into. When I had applied to the program, I thought it was a cool idea, but more than anything else, thought it was a great way to extend my travels an additional week (room and food were covered) and learn about the Spanish culture.