By Miranda Rhys – 1 week volunteer
During my week at Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary, one highlight was when we continued the reforestation project and planted some fruit trees! Since the weather in Thailand is relatively warm and humid the trees we planted will flourish. The staff, interns and volunteers onsite, as well as the locals decided to plant avocado and coffee bean trees next to the base hut, which was previously used as a corn-field. They were all young trees that ranged around a foot tall.
Sombat, one of the co-founders, would dig the holes to the size needed for each tree. He also directed which tree should be planted where. Another local made posts to put next to each young tree to mark where they were. Myself and the interns helped by planting each tree in the correct hole. Although there were quite a lot of thorny weeds, they were thankfully small and easy to remove without too much discomfort.
Despite the thorny weeds, now that the trees are finally planted, it is nice to see that they can grow. The hopes of them all surviving and growing to their full potential will be greatly appreciated. Also the hopes of the weeds fully dying will help us harvest in the future.
Another highlight of my stay was the family I stayed with in the village. They are considered as “home stays” and they where very welcoming to me. There was the husband, wife and grandmother. The husband and wife had two children but both were off at school.
They also had a young puppy and kitten. The puppy was like another child for them. It was odd how much they cared for the puppy considering most Karen do not allow dogs into their homes. Their daughter had found the puppy after she was orphaned and rescued her. The puppy’s name was “Narak.” This meant cute in Thai. Narak was a short legged, white and black female that had pointy ears with a tail that curled. This young pup had no fear of the other dogs and even tried to play with the cat. She was a dog you wouldn’t forget and I can’t wait to see them all again in the future!