It's been over a week since my volunteer work st Elephant Nature Park ended and boy do I wish I was back there.
The work we did wasn't easy by any means. Never did I imagine I would help with building fire trenches around the park. A fire started on the mountains Tuesday night there. Therefore our Wednesday morning and afternoon jobs were going up to the mountains behind the mahout's houses and dig trenches so the fire wouldn't continue.
So there us volunteers are. Never before done something like this - maybe except Jordan - and the park and the families around relying, trusting us to basically save their homes. Talk about a lot of pressure.
It was hot, hard, long and tiresome but let me tell you, the next day seeing our progress was so rewarding. I give so much credit to individuals who do this on a daily basis.
I think my absolute favorite things I did while volunteering was preparing the food and feeding the elephants. These big guys eat over 75% of their day. It's fascinating watching their trunks move to your hand with the food, grab it then roll their trunks to their mouth.
My obsession with elephants have only grown stronger.
As much as ENP helps and rescues elephants, I still felt guilty throughout the week here. People come here everyday to feed and take photos of these animals. Needless to say, I didn't take as many photos as I was planning too because I didn't want it to see like these animals were an exhibit.
The founder, Lek, came to speak to us on the last night. Think about the Rachel Zoe or the Diane Von Furstenberg of fashion speaking to a small group of individuals.
She showed us a documentary of the treating of elephants and talked about her experience as well as her love for these intelligent animals. This lady is a legend. I have so much respect for her.
If anyone is looking to travel for a long period of time, I urge you to volunteer and do something good for people, animals or the environment. The experience you have will be so much more rewarding than any drunk night spent in a foreign bar.
End my do good rant and insert this adorable dog Memphis who is over 75% blind. He spent the week with us and the elephants.