Sure, I love them National Parks. But that’s hardly my only source of traveling. Every so often I get the urge to spend my summers volunteering. 2006 found me in India teaching school outside of Chennai. In 2009 I did another teaching program in Siem Reap, Cambodia, where I also got to make several visits to the Angkor Wat temples. While I was there I heard about an elephant program deep in the jungle outside of Mondulkiri, and knew I would do it someday. Seven years later, there I was. Yeah, sometimes they sneak up on you!
I don’t know that I’ve ever worked so hard. Planting bamboo after hauling the seedlings down muddy trails, building bridges out of trees we chopped down, clearing fields for future banana trees for the elephants to feed on. We also learned how to do health checks on the elephants. That’s me in the green shirt:
I paid a little extra money for “private accommodations,” meaning a grass-topped hut! But wait…who said this guy could invade my privacy?
I continued on to Laos after the Elephant Project. That’s for a future blog post.