Volunteering with Elephants

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.


Author: barblee

Barb Lee is a native of Western Massachusetts who loves to write, travel and hike the world, and hang out with her beautiful Jersey Wooly bunny Muffin. Her whole life changed when she was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer in October of 2019. By January of 2020, she was bouncing back in a major way. Now, in addition to all her favorite activities, she wants to help others make the most of life following a devastating diagnosis, while she continues to beat the odds.

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