Teaching and tree planting :)

Hi all 🙂

Today all the volunteers became teachers! This morning we went out to a local school called Andougbey and split into six groups to teach. The volunteers got the opportunity to gauge where the kids were at and create their own lessons. Walking down the hall, I heard everything from acting out animals, counting, spelling, and singing, to playing duck, duck, goose, and Simon says. After a couple hours, both the volunteers and kids were getting antsy in the classrooms so the kids went outside to play soccer, run around, and use all the volunteers as their personal jungle gyms 🙂 It was a very fun morning! And luckily it was lunchtime/break time when we got back because every volunteer fell asleep in the truck on the way home. I think they got a taste of what their parents had to handle- moms and dads have a lot of “thank you”‘s coming their way 🙂

After lunch, all the volunteers loaded trees into the truck and took them down to the entrance to plant them. It’s important to plant as many trees as possible for a couple reasons. One is they distinguish the boundaries of the elephant sanctuary. Another is more obvious, which is we want to regrow the forest. There has been illegal logging in the past and a fire about 4-5 years ago that destroyed a lot of the trees. We want people who drive through this area to know that this sanctuary promotes the welfare of all living things- flora and fauna. This really hit home when two separate locals approached the volunteers as they were planting just to say “thank you very much” for the work that we were doing. It’s always so special when we experience these moments that let us know we’re genuinely making a huge difference. When we finished planting, we went back to the sanctuary to feed the elephants. This never gets old. I’m sure every volunteer will miss the feeling of an elephant’s trunk scarfing bananas out of their hands haha! It’s pretty amazing how strong and gigantic they are, yet completely docile and the sweetest of creatures 🙂

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Volunteers shown above: Femke, Kendra, Erin, and Bailey

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Volunteers shown above: Maci, Emily, and Laura

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Volunteers shown above: Ilana and Ashlynn

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Volunteers shown above: Josh

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Volunteers shown above: Ike

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Volunteers shown above: Nick, Kristin, Emily, Laura, Erin, Maddy, Sarah, Kendra, Femke, Ilana, Ashlynn, Justine, and Bailey

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Volunteers shown above: Nick, Emily, Sarah, Shannon, Ashlynn, and Madelaine

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Volunteers shown above: Laura

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