Wow! Time does fly doesn’t it! In some ways it still feels like yesterday that we met in Little Village. We will always remember those 13 weary faces staring at us, fraught with anticipation and excitement to be there. It takes courage to step into the unknown and I applaud you for taking that step to embark on a journey of discovery in Thailand.
We are sure that the whole experience has now had a chance to really sink in. The time that we spent together will definitely be significant to everyone for different reasons. For some we know that the chance to spend time and interact with elephants like Motala, Mosha and Boonmee will have left a lasting impression on you.
It was a privilege to stay at the FAE hospital, we were one of the first groups to ever stay on- site and to be in the presence of these elephants was incredibly special. For others it will be the friendships that were formed on this trip, connecting with people who share the same philosophies of life and/or challenge us to think differently and improve, can be greatly uplifting. For some it might have been the cultural immersion itself, delving into different dishes, traditions and the rich history of Thailand during our temple and market visits was fascinating.
The contribution that everyone made to create an organic garden, a compost box and clean up the elephant graves and the grounds will always be remembered at FAE . It was hard and hot sometimes but it was with great team work and perseverance that we managed to finish the projects. Nothing worthwhile is ever achieved without hard work and you should all be proud that you stuck with it until the end.
We must say that the situation around Elephant conservation in Thailand is complex, and there seems to be no definite answer. This can be frustrating but we hope that by visiting different elephant places during the session, that it opened your eyes to the realities they face. We do believe that with greater understanding we can push for change.
Didn’t we pack a lot of activities into those three weeks? boy did we laugh! Some moments from the trip that we won’t forget:
-Making delicious mini pizza’s for dinner with an elaborate amount of toppings and of course your favourite =cheese!
-Playing elbow tag in the sand and laughing so hard as we all took turns at bailing:)
-Listening to each others story of self, I think you all realized then how much more you had in common and we bonded well
-Trying to create an a cappella masterpiece
-Having a rave in the vans with Non’s bass and some sick beats 🙂
-Playing Ninja at little village
-Getting competitive during ‘Eyes, Body, Mouth’ at the Hmong Hill Tribe Resort
-Cuddling with baby elephants wherever we went
-Exploring the markets and temples in Lampang, Chiang Mai and Lamphun
-Bathing Mosha at FAE
-Finishing the elephant cemetery! what a great team effort
– ‘Buck Daaaee’ #enoughsaid
It was amazing to be a part of this group. To watch you grow and learn from each other. We hope this trip has enriched your story, challenged your perceptions of what is possible and motivated you to pursue your passions!
We trust you are enjoying school, college and all the other endeavors you are pursuing in life right now. Whether it is clear to you or not, we hope the world is unfolding as it should.
In the wise words of Nelson Mandela;
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light , not our darkness that frightens us most.
We ask ourselves ‘who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented?’ Actually, who are you not to be?
Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are meant to shine like children do. It’s not just in some of us, its in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others”
Something to think about.
Stay safe, have fun and please be in touch!
-Em and Ash