What an amazing day! First we spent some time getting to know each other & learning about GLA and our program via orientation. Then we headed to lunch at this delicious buffet and afterward we visited some temples. From there we went to Elephant Parade where we painted our very own tiny elephants – so much fun! Then we celebrated Lindley’s birthday after dinner at coffee bus with mango sticky rice & cupcakes!
By: Kelly Urch
July 24, 2017
Today, we went to see the elephants at the Thai elephant hospital and conservation center. It was a really eye opening experience to see the two different conditions the elephants live in. We then discussed how complicated and controversial elephant living conditions are in Southeast Asia, and left the conversation open to learning and growing in our beliefs. Pondering the complex ethical dilemmas of the Asian elephant crisis, we must now weigh new information against preconceived ideas of right and wrong.
Sydney Wallack and Alexa McPhee
Hey friends and family!
Today we had our cultural exchange program with the local Chaing Mai Christian School. We started the day off with an opening ceremony where we saw a traditional Thai dance. After, we presented an acapella performance based on the movie Pitch Perfect. Our song was Cups. Half of us sang while the other half did the cup clapping tune. Following, we learned how to do the traditional Thai dance, and how to make flowers that are cremated with the king.
After a lunch at the school and having met many of the younger students, we went to a museum with some of the students our age. The museum presented the history of Thailand, and the Thai students gladly explained more about their country.
Later, we went back to our hotel and watched a documentary called, “The Last Elephants in Thailand.” Shown in a UN movie festival, the movie explored Asian elephants and the toughness of their situation in Thailand. We discussed the ethics of the Thai elephant tourist industry, and ways to improve elephant lives.
For dinner, we went to a Thai mall food court where we could have whatever we wanted! Lastly, we finished up the day with a trip to a night market. Many of us indulged in the fish foot baths and made many purchases.
We have an early start tomorrow since we leave for the Thai Elephant home.
-Lindley Hall and Sam Cohen
July 27, 2017
Today we met our elephants for the first time! After an hour drive we finally reached Thai Elephant Home where we’ll spend our time taking care of the elephants. We rode our elephants through the jungle, and took them down to the river for a wash (and might have gotten a little carried away). After dinner we all gathered together to share our life stories, fun facts, mottos and all around good bonding. A great first day at the Thai Elephant Home️ – Mickey and Tori
July 28, 2017
Today was a great day. We woke up early to clean and feed the elephants. After breakfast, we moved onto our very first day of service. One group started building a dam, and the other group cut grass for the elephants. We also had our very first mentor group in which we discussed our first impressions of the Thai elephant home. We finished our day with pesto and chicken for dinner and a competition game of spoons.
-lily Rotter and lily Harrison
Today the groups were split for morning service.
Half of the group went to the jungle to collect and make medicine balls for the elephants and the other half went to an elephant nursery.
We used tree bark, bananas, sugarcane, herbs, rice, leaves, salt, and other ingredients to make a small compact ball to feed the elephants but it was fun.
At the nursery, we played with elephants under the age of 5. We walked into the jungle, played in the mud, and washed off in the river before returning to home base.
Food was good, miss you families, be safe, peace out, *dabs*, *trips*, *stumbles*, *smiles*, thumbs up.
- Amanda Gang, Natalie Bakwin
7/31/17After the normal morning routine, we once again split into two groups to round off our alternating experiences in the elephant nursery and the creation of medicine balls. At the elephant nursery, we haphazardly pursued mischievous baby elephants in their ceaseless pursuit of food. We then joined them in a mud bathing pit, which initiated a raging mud war between mahouts and students alike. Back at the village, the other group worked hard scouring and collecting a mish-mash of herbs and various plants, turning them into healthy snacks which will enhance elephant health and demeanor. After walking our elephants to the local reservoir like normal, we had our daily games of Ta-kra (a game played by locals combined of hackey sack and volleyball in ways). We finished up our fantastic day with leadership exercises and bonding games.From the incredible leaders namedSam Fuller and Miles Roma
After tending to our elephants in the morning, we went to a local market. We then completed our last day of service, where we finished our second dam and grass cutting. Our counselor Sam gave us a fantastic presentation on trash in the ocean, where we learned how our plastic waste accumulates over time. Tonight, groups prepare for the talent show tomorrow.
Char McIntosh and Amanda Wagman