From an impulsive idea to the best possible experience!!January 27, 2024
Lessons from Too Meh. How my late night internet search turned into one of the greatest endeavours of my life.February 7, 2024
By Haris – 3 weeks intern – As a conservationist, I wanted to plan a meaningful trip and gain experience in outdoor research. I wanted to go somewhere in Asia since I’ve never been to that continent and so I found KSES on Volunteerworld. I considered planning a trip to KSES because it was the most affordable option that included elephants. Upon further investigation, I learned KSES was genuinely trying to rehabilitate elephants in a humane way and I would be able to help while gaining experience by helping them research elephants, it was a no brainer to choose this volunteer program. Any questions I had about the program were promptly answered by Kerri, the founder of KSES.
After spending a busy and exciting day in Chiang Mai, I met the rest of the volunteer group and intern coordinator in the morning at the hotel we stayed at and made our way to Ban Na Klang, where the elephants lived. The area was surrounded by lush green mountains where a few different villages existed. We spent the first day getting acclimated to our new environment and learning more about the Karen culture and the history of the elephants in Thailand and why KSES was so passionate about their welfare. Seeing the village was very humbling as we walked through seeing all sorts of farm animals but to my surprise, very comfortable living arrangements. The locals were welcoming as they smiled and the kids would say hello to us as they played. Everyday, our assigned homestay would cook us delightful lunch and dinner, we would have typical breakfast foods at the basecamp, where we spent most of our time together working on our research, they would also cater to any dietary needs. They even had a couple of shops if you were craving ice cream or any additional snacks or fruit! My 3 week stay was very enjoyable as it was spent with like-minded individuals, sharing our unique stories over food and camp fires.
I would recommend KSES to anyone looking to travel and doing so in a meaningful way. As a bonus, traveling with a volunteer group you would build relationships with your fellow interns and you would learn a lot about conservation and research as you enhance your character!