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GAP YEAR | VOLUNTEER ABROAD | WORK EXPERIENCE OVERSEAS

 

Volunteers' Stories

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mathilda-johansson

         

MATHILDA JOHANSSON
Sweden

Care for Elephants at an Elephant Center in Surin, Thailand
         

I was very pleased with all the information about dress codes. Coming to Thailand I soon discovered that there was a difference in how the locals viewed you depending on if you knew how to dress and how to behave.

Glenn Angus [Travellers Team] was a life-saver when I arrived in Bangkok airport.
I honesty don't know what I would have done if he hadn't met me there, it was the first time I travelled alone and I didn't know where to go when I had received my bag at the airport.

He took me to the hotel, helped me to check in and offered me his company if I wanted to go into town.

Just before leaving my hotel to go to the airport on my way back, Glenn came without any agreement to my hotel and joined me back to the airport. I find this a VERY good service and it shows so much consideration.

My volunteer coordinators, Kirsty and Wills, and Pum and Ousha who took care of us at the project, were amazing. They made my three weeks so problem free...

I've never met such patient and caring people, no matter whether it was about finding a working ATM because we'd run out of money, or spending half an hour before bedtime to chase a big spider out of my room.

I was really amazed by the mahouts and Pum and Ousha (which was the few Thai people I was lucky enough to get to know) for their kindness and knowledge about the nature and the surroundings.

When out in the forest with the elephants the Thai people would randomly stop, pick a leaf from a bush somewhere and tell us to try it, and it would either taste just like some of the food we'd just eaten there, or just taste really terrible.

At one point on the walk there was a bird net a couple of meters off the path. Thai people commonly eat wild birds, but many of these nets are often forgotten and the birds die by dehydration in the hot sun in the middle of the day.

Of course, when dead the people doesn't eat them but throw them away. Every time we passed the net Ousha or on of the mahouts stopped the walk and went down, cutting the bird off the net and helping it to get rid of the barbs.

One time we found a king fisher in the net and Ousha was deeply concerned because it couldn't fly perfectly after he'd released it.

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