This is it. The end of my final program as Team Leader for this volunteering run. I couldn’t ask for a better group to finish it with, it was a small but incredibly close group of people that I got to work with in the final week at the Elephant refuge.
We achieved so much this week, with Freya joining our team, everyone became a lot more comfortable around each other and the jokes were flying. It was so much so that there a few times we were all in stitches from the running commentary on the works we were doing!
Yet the things we achieved, they were amazing! We planted pretty much a whole forest of jack fruit for future volunteers and elephants to help keep this sanctuary as self sufficient as it is. We planted hundreds in small pods for future volunteers and took out dozens that are already half grown and replanted them in the open.
We worked on a dam so the elephants can have a place to bathe in the dry season, this will also provide an extra water source for the local community when water becomes truly scarce!
We taught at the local school, something that is ongoing as often we are the only exposure they get to learning english, but it is enough as their skills improve enough for them to go onto further study at university which is an awesome achievement by the volunteers.
However most importantly we were there for the Elephants, helping them along the path of healing both physically and mentally. We learnt about their horrible past, then fed them daily, washed them and got really close to them so that they can continue on their journey to be Elephants again and be ready to welcome the new Elephants to the sanctuary when they come.
To think all of this has been achieved in such a short week, with these amazing people! It is not the work that keeps bringing me back, although it is unbelievably rewarding, it is the people that give without thought of reward. The ones like these volunteers that spent months preparing, planning and saving for this trip, so they could come and make a difference. They are the reason why I love being here, surrounded by this hilarious, fun and empathetic people is part of what makes things like these so amazing.
Here are a few pictures from the last few days.
The Chester photo bomb
Our finished house!
If you know these volunteers you should be incredibly proud of what they’ve achieved but more importantly because of who they are. It is an absolute pleasure to count these people as friends!
I hope you’ve had as much fun reading about our adventures as have had having them! If you would like to contribute to these projects them please follow this link to our charity where 100% of all donations go into the communities that we volunteer at because unfortunately we cannot be there year round. so these donations help keep this places afloat so we can return there in a few months time and find the communities still thriving!
This is my last blog post as Team Leader for this run, it’s been a pleasure doing this run. Best wishes to all the volunteers, their families, friends and anyone else who’s reading this!