September 09, 2015
This summer, Amanda Shrewsbury, 19, of Golden, Colo., spent two weeks in Thailand learning about Thai culture and volunteering with rescued elephants. Traveling with the Boston-based Loop Abroad, Shrewsbury was part of a small team that volunteered directly with rescued elephants at an elephant sanctuary.
The group spent one week at the Elephant Nature Park in northern Thailand to work hands-on with the animals and learn about animal rescue and conservation on a larger scale. The Elephant Nature Park is home to over 40 elephants who have been rescued from trekking, logging, or forced breeding programs. Many of them have been abused and suffer from chronic injuries. At the Elephant Nature Park, they are cared for by volunteers from all over the world. Students were able to feed, bathe, and care for elephants, as well as learning about their life stories. The Elephant Nature Park is also home to over 400 dogs and 100 cats, as well as rabbits and water buffalo, and is sustained in huge part by the work of weekly volunteers like Shrewsbury.
During her time at the Elephant Nature Park, Shrewsbury learned about elephant tourism and behavior. She helped with the many chores needed to run the park, such as preparing elephant food, cleaning elephant cages, chopping corn and grass to feed the elephants, and planting in the ENP's gardens.
For the rest of her time in Thailand, she explored all aspects of Thai culture, from meeting with Buddhist monks to visiting a hill tribe village to learning to cook Thai food.
Of her trip, Shrewsbury says, "This trip was a wonderful opportunity to experience and learn about another culture as well as learn about local and global issues and their working solution."
Loop Abroad has programs for students and young adults age 14 to 30, and offers financial aid and fundraising help to make their trips accessible to the greatest number of students. Interested participants can inquire or apply at www.LoopAbroad.com.
Shrewsbury is a student at Colorado State University majoring in human development and family studies, family and consumer sciences, and Spanish.
Pictured: Amanda Shrewsbury is pictured in Thailand, second from left.
Contact: Dawn Mallette
Telephone: (970) 491-5319