By Tessa Hughes – 1 week volunteer
On the first day, my family and I got picked up from the meeting point right on time like scheduled. Our luggage was then promptly placed on top of the car, were it was safely fastened. The beginning of the ride was nice and we only made two stops to pick up some supplies that we need for our final destination, Ban Naklang.
Halfway to the village, we stopped at this cute little restaurant and proceeded to have a delicious lunch that was paid for by the KSES staff. After lunch we continued making our way to the village and as we got closer the roads went from concrete to dirt. It then became very bumpy. I recommend that if you get car sick easily to bring some medication with you. When we arrived, we got a nice tour of the village and of the base hut (where we like to hang out when we have free time). After we settled in nicely, we went and had dinner. It was spectacular. After dinner the KSES staff filled us in on exactly what they do, their aspirations for the future and all the rules and regulations that we have to abide by during our stay.
Our homestay provided us with a little hut outside of the main house that was built on stilts and made of wood. About 10 meters was the bathroom that has a shower that only lets out cold water. Before we enter any building (apart from some toilets) we have to take off our shoes so it’s best if you bring some flip flops with you because they’re easier to take off.
Inside the hut there is a large bed that is fairly comfortable to sleep in and that is surrounded by a mosquito net to protect you from all the bugs during the night. There are chickens, pigs and local dogs that all belong to the people of the village. The animals can be a bit noisy during the night so I recommend brining earplugs. In conclusion the stay in the village is really nice and fun and I highly recommend going to this village and participating with this amazing program that really helps with our knowledge on Asian elephants and the environment around them. KSES really helps do good in this world.