Through this year's Global Service Program, 35 Tabor students and faculty are traveling in Thailand for a week of service. Read the journal entries below to get a first-hand account of our students' experiences.
Tuesday, June 12
Elephant camp is basically a farm in the jungle where caretakers live and care for the animals.
The elephants were even bigger than we expected and they were VERY friendly. They ate tens of bananas at a time. We bathed the elephants; they were super calm and well behaved. We learned that the main elephant caretakers are called Mahuts and they live close to the elephants’ main habitat.
We made spring rolls for dinner using the ingredients we purchased at the market. We even made banana spring rolls which no one had eaten before.
Everyone is tired and will sleep well tonight!
Blake Roberts '21
Wednesday, June 13
We woke up in the early morning at the crowing of the roosters in the camp. We had a great breakfast and headed to see the elephants.
After a 45-minute hike over slippery, muddy hills and log bridges, we found the elephants. Then we fed and bathed them, and had a “Thai campers lunch” cooked with natural utensils – banana leaves and bamboo only. The elephants kept nosing in to see what we were eating. The hike was worth it; the elephants were wonderful and had the most beautiful eyes! During our break, our Thai guides played guitar for us and the whole team sang along to the tunes. We sung “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran and “Zombies” by The Cranberries. Nothing brings people together like good music.
After, we went to a farm and planted vegetables. We finished the day by visiting a local school and hung out with the children there. They were friendly and also very curious.
We had dinner and prepped for bed. We are excited to experience a different place tomorrow.
Yujin Hong '20
Thursday, June 14
This morning was our last breakfast in the village before venturing off to our next journey. We packed our bags and walked to the bamboo rafts.
The bamboo rafts were a little scary at first glance, but since I had Angela sitting behind me I felt safe. It was so cool to be rafting down the river on a raft made that morning, while water buffalo and elephants surrounded us! We hit a few bumps, but safely made it to the white-water rafting site.
The white-water rafting was a lot shorter than the bamboo rafting trip. And before that we had really yummy Pad Thai. The fruit here is amazing!
After the rafting, we took a bus ride to Fang. AND WE FINALLY SHOWERED!! The rooms here are so nice, but nothing will beat sitting outside with everyone and playing guitar like last night. After dinner, we walked around Fang and found a restaurant with a live band: Even though Megan and I barely knew the words, we sang along.
Overall, this trip has been so awesome and I love all the people! I can’t wait for our service work tomorrow!
Izzy Vismara '19
Since 2014, Tabor’s Center for International Students has been offering the chance for summer travel with a cadre of Tabor faculty to remote areas combining fun and service. Combining service with cultural exchange and improved global understanding, these trips have become more and more popular with our students.
With the first part of the trip complete, the kids are looking forward to building a guesthouse, tea farming, and teaching English to local Thai villagers before they depart next Tuesday. Visit again to hear about the second part of their journey!