Sunday, October 23, 2011

Alix's Internship

Hi! My name is Alix and I’m from the United States. I graduated from Boston University and spent the past year serving with AmeriCorps NCCC, where I travelled throughout the southeast region of the U.S. doing a variety of community service work. I’ve never travelled abroad before but wanted to get involved with international development work, and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to spend three months working with elephants in Thailand!
For my internship I am focusing on four projects. First, I get to monitor the foraging and social behaviour, as well as the physical health, of one of the baby elephants, Bpee Mai! He makes hikes interesting with his willingness to play, all of the time! Next, I am working with some of the other long-term volunteers to teach basic English to some of the nursery school children, aged 3-5. We’re working on animals, body parts, colors, food, and more. Also, I’m helping to create some tools for volunteers to use in order to fundraise once they leave the project, and will hopefully be able to help get the ‘Sponsor Boon Jan’ program up and running! Lastly, I am working with one of the staff member’s, Lynsey, to figure out a way to create paper out of elephant poo. Before I left, a friend gave me a book made out of 100% recycled elephant poo, and I had hoped to start the process to develop something similar in Huay Pakoot. We’re only in the beginning stages, but we’re hoping it can eventually become another small-business opportunity for the villagers!I’m having a great time so far getting to know the staff, volunteers, the villagers, and of course the elephants, and I can’t wait to get even more involved with my projects and the community.