It’s hard to believe that around this time two years ago, my 3-month study abroad trip to Thailand had finally, unfortunately, come to an end.
Now, I would give anything to go back and do more with my time there. Originally, my project was to create a transportation device for wounded elephants in Bangkok. You may be asking: “What in the world are elephants doing on the streets of Bangkok?”
The answer? Tourism.
For income, mahouts (elephant caretakers) used to bring their elephants to the streets of Bangkok, or other major cities in Thailand, to allow tourists to feed the elephants. However, this practice is not healthy for elephants for various reasons: polluted city air, hot pavement, potholes, traffic, etc. As a result, these elephants were put in a lot of harm’s way and many would become injured.
Most of my days were spent learning about elephants, writing about elephants, interviewing people about elephants, and playing with elephants. Needless to say: while in Thailand, I found a new found appreciation of elephants.
However, during our planning process, my group realized that a transportation device for wounded elephants already existed…so yeah. There we were, in Thailand, with no idea what to work on. We decided to find alternative, sustainable roles for elephants in Thailand. All in all, our project it came together, pretty brilliantly:
My group won an honorable mention award for our project!
My experience in a nutshell:
Also visited my fair share of temples and such:
And the weekends:
Last but not least, words of wisdom from Thailand: