A few months back I had the experience of a lifetime – I spent an entire week volunteering at an elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai, Thailand. This trip is one that I had been wanting to do for 10 years. I first heard of The Elephant Nature Park from a flight attendant who had gone there on her honeymoon. Though I thought it an odd choice at the time, as my honeymoon was spent sipping rum punch on a beach in Jamaica, I have since come around to realize her experience far outweighed my gluttonous week of all you can eat restaurants and sand in my crotch…as far as honeymoons are concerned, she won.
I arrived at ENP unsure of how the experience would shape me. I knew the basics of what we would be doing – prepping food (Did you know elephants eat 800 lbs of food a day?), picking up shit (400lbs a day…each!), and cleaning the park of the discarded corn tusks the elephants deemed inedible (picky, picky, picky). I had no idea there would also be 460 dogs there (most saved from the flood of Bangkok in 2011), herds of water buffalo, endless cats, goats, chickens, and any other type of animal that has needed rescuing in the past 25+ years. I also had no idea what the tourism industry had done to these magnificent creatures including torture, mutilation, and murder of many of the mothers in order to take the young. That week I learned a lot. I saw more than what I thought my heart could handle. That week, I became a voice for those who can’t speak… Continue reading “Money & Morals – Using Your $$ For Good”