My 23 year old daughter and I just returned from the Thailand Elephant Conservation Expedition. It was an amazing experience! Our guides, Mai and Joon, were wonderful! We visited several temples, conversed with a monk, sampled local culture and foods at the Market before heading to the Thai Elephant Home. I could have stayed here for the entire trip! The location was so peaceful and beautiful. Providing hands-on care for the elephants, working with the Mahouts, and even riding an elephant are activities I will never forget! Visits to a Long-Neck and Karin village topped off the trip. I would recommend this experience to everyone. I know it sounds trite, but it was life-changing.
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I went over Christmas time and had a wonderful. My first night there I was the only one that had arrived. My host and his family showed me around Cusco to the different plazas and churches that had Nativity scenes and lights. The next day I had asked about wanting to see how the people there shopped, so I had the opportunity to go with the host's brother and wife as they shopped for the food to take to the homebase. There ended up being only two of us on this trip, which I think was good. Our host was very accommodating to our needs and since I was having trouble with the altitude I think we took things at a much slower pace. Because of circumstances there were times our schedule was rearranged, which our host was very patient todo. We had a chance to attend the baptism of some of the girls he works with, followed by being invited to their home for a meal. Which was a pleasant experience. He had children come to the homebase to meet and work with us. There were times that the children came with us as we visited various locations. I was very impressed by the friendliness of the staff and their families. I do plan to go back and visit the families that I have met.
I do recommend this trip to anyone who is interested in seeing a place in Peru and do some volunteering on their vacations.
While not my first trip to Thailand, this was my first time in Chiang Mai or with a volunteer group. Offered in conjunction with the Peace Corps Association, this opportunity to teach English at an underprivileged elementary school exceeded my expectations. The on-site staff was outstanding, available to help with any and all possible issues. Our driver was also commendable. The program itself was jam packed with opportunities to interact with local people and to gain a much deeper understanding of Thai culture than would otherwise be possible. The inclusion of such perks as a cooking class, Thai massage, visits with hill tribes and most exciting of all, a day at an elephant home working and playing with these extraordinary creatures, was a plus that all seven participants appreciated. The accommodations, while not luxurious (nor were they expected to be) were very clean, comfortable and satisfactory in every way. Personal preferences were all taken into consideration. The food was outstanding, each meal exceeding all expectations. I would recommend this trip wholeheartedly. Working with those kids and the school staff is an experience I will never forget.
The Discover Corps trip to Guatemala was more than I could have hoped for. The guide, driver, home base, volunteer experiences, and the additional sights we visited were beyond my expectations. The food was remarkable and I felt safe, taken care of, and informed every step of the way.
Discover Corps trip to the Dominican Republic, was life changing! Getting to be apart of such a great program that benefits not only the people of DR, but myself as well. Our group was small and it worked out in our favor! Scott our group leader was awesome! He was so informative, easy to get along with, and overall fantastic, couldn't have ask for a better leader. The program was organized and accurate on each daily activity. 8 days full of projects that were amazing, from building a home for a family out of discarded plastic bottles, to visiting a chocolate factory.. there were many fun experiences on this trip I can't pick a specific one. Overall great program and I'm definitely going to be participating in another.
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