Volunteer Review from the Thailand Elephant Sanctuary
“It is hard for me to put into words just how much I enjoyed my time at the sanctuary, and how much of an impact it had on me.”
Eva is a designer, reiki master healer and animal communicator from the US who volunteered at the Thailand Elephant Sanctuary for two weeks in November.
I looked into several organisations, in different areas of the world. Globalteer was the one that impressed me the most. The amount of money that goes to the sanctuary, the interaction with the elephants & the respect for the animals. Globalteer was quick to respond when I had questions, and also that there no pressure to hurry up and book, unlike the other places I looked into. The website had everything spelled out, and the staff responded to my questions in a timely fashion.
Working at the Elephant Sanctuary
The day to day work I did at the sanctuary included feeding the elephants, taking them for walks, giving them baths, cleaning the enclosures. As well as special projects like painting fences and planting trees. I also helped in harvesting banana trees for the elephants, cleaning the kitchen and washing the dogs.
There are so many things that I will treasure about my time at the sanctuary. I made new friends from all around the world. I got to walk several elephants, and feed them. Most amazingly - I got to feed a baby elephant! I watched the mahouts interact with their elephants, and could see that they truly enjoy their work, and respect and care for their elephants. The sanctuary staff truly love the elephants and are wonderful to the volunteers.
Getting to know the Elephants
Pai Lin was my absolute favourite elephant. She is the oldest, at 75, I believe, and I was fortunate to work with her for four days. She's gentle and just wonderful. She takes her food gently, she walks nicely and seems to enjoy eating the fruit we cut up for her to eat during her baths. I know that in the time that we have at the sanctuary, we can't really ‘bond’ with the elephants, but I got to spend enough time with her that I felt a closeness to her. I have to say that each elephant that I worked with was just wonderful and they each had their own personality. It is amazing to me that they are so gentle and calm; they are truly beautiful creatures with wonderful souls.
A life changing experience
For me, this was a life-changing trip. I've been struggling with having a purpose in life, and volunteering made me realise that I need to change direction in my life. Now I want to work to be the voice for animals! I will definitely visit the sanctuary and volunteer there again. I hope to return in November, and then make it an annual trip!
Interested in becoming a Volunteer in Thailand then visit the Elephant Sanctuary Project Page.