It was a wonderful experience working with the students. Getting to know each student individually. I also had great rapport with most of the students which enabled us to have touching conversations and share stories.
We had the privilege to have Saraida as one of the speaker. The students discussed issues surrounding elephants with her. They were also able to learn the challenges that come along being a leader.
One of the precious moments we experience was watching Boomy (the gentle giant) react to hearing Saraidas voice. She told us she had been gone a week so Boomy was very happy to see her. I will never forget the way she blew her horn and stomped her trunk to the ground and seemed as though she was skipping with joy. It was as though the elephant was a dog welcoming his or her owner. It was an incredible sight.
I am also grateful that we were able to see the different elephant camps and judge for ourselves. It was also great having Richard Lair (elephant expert) as one of the speakers for he was an elephant encyclopedia. This also gave the students a chance to reflect on what they saw and learned.
I truly believe the students and staff learned a lot about how to and what it takes to care for elephants. They saw and learned from the mahouts (elephant caretakers). They also learned about the long history elephants have with Thailand. And how through time their relationships changed.
All in all, it was a great program. I enjoyed running the activities and getting to know each students.