Closed - Thai Water and Elephants

Teaching about Water Filter and Solar Stove construction and caring for retired elephants

Project Dates: 09/15/2017 to 09/30/2017

Country: Thailand

Location: Suan Phueng, Rachabury and Kanchanaburi

Cost: US $1,975 - Plus Air

Level of Physical Challenge:

Special Requirements/Qualifications/Skills Needed:

Farmers, business specialists, engineers, craftsmen, do-it-yourselfers, etc. In short, the needs are so varied here that everyone has something to contribute and share with the people that are relying on our help. We will share plenty of educational resources with you beforehand so that you can brush up on your skills or learn new ones well before the trip.


Project Background:

Access to clean water is an ever-important issue worldwide. While many areas, like Thailand, have adequate access to fresh water, much of what is available is contaminated with bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Therefore, it often poses a real danger to those who rely on it for drinking and cooking. Our project will teach people to build reliable, inexpensive water filters that will protect their health and will last for many years.

Cooking meals is a daily necessity, and for poor families it can pose a serious economic hardship, as well. Fuel for cooking is expensive, whether they buy liquid or gas fuel or even firewood. A much more inexpensive method is to use the power of the sun to heat their meals. Fortunately, solar cookers can be fashioned from aluminum foil and cardboard, and can reach surprisingly high temperatures that are very adequate for cooking a meal or even for baking. Since the sun is generally very bright in Thailand (you will see some rain while you are there with us, though), solar cooking is a very efficient and affordable option for them. You will be able to quickly learn basic construction techniques and then be able to teach people in poor communities how to build these basic and inexpensive units.

In preparation for this project you will be given plenty of materials to study so that you will be comfortable instructing them about this technology. The equipment is not very complex to understand or build but it will be necessary to learn a bit about it beforehand. You might even want to build some for your own use.



Please send your application in by August 15, 2017. That will barely give us enough time to make all the appropriate arrangements.


Additional Information:

During our second week in Thailand we have a number of special opportunities planned for you. Perhaps the most exciting thing we will do is to spend some time working with retired elephants and learning the details of caring for them! We will get to spend two days, feeding, bathing, and, yes, cleaning up after them, working closely with the mahout who is the primary and personal caretaker for an elephant. Because of their incredibly close relationship, the mahouts understand these animals more thoroughly than most of us can imagine. We will enjoy meals at the compound and will spend the night under a mosquito net there, wondering if elephants snore. Be sure to plan to wake up early on the morning of the second day to watch the beautiful sunrise and to listen as the amazing variety of birds and animals in the forest awakens, too. During your time there you will learn more about elephants than you ever imagined possible and will develop a deep love and appreciation for these intelligent and compassionate creatures.

In addition to our elephant education we will have opportunities to spend time in some of the most significant parts of Thailand. We will visit places like Ayutthaya, the ancient and historic capital of the kingdom of Siam. We will see the Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho), the Grand Palace, Wat Arun, and take a boat ride on the Grand Canal in Bangkok. We will see the Jim Thompson House where his amazing silk empire began after WW2, and the Ancient City park with scaled-down replicas of many important landmarks from all over Thailand. While we are in Kanchanaburi we will be sure to walk across the Bridge on the River Kwai and visit the Death Railway and the cemeteries.

Of course, we would not leave out plenty of opportunities for shopping - we certainly do not want you coming home without an adequate supply of souvenirs.

Now, Here is what one recently returned volunteer had to say when she saw this posting.

Hey my friends! You know how I just recently took an amazing Voluntourism trip to Peru to assist an Amazonian tribe with developing a spa as well as teaching them how to make mosquito nets for profit and protection? Well the next incredible trip with Volunteer Voyages is coming up September 15-30th!! It is to Thailand teaching about Water Filtration, Solar Stove construction, and caring for retired elephants! OMG what a dream, right? This would also make an amazing couples retreat. Anyway, it is super inexpensive for a 2-week long trip and all the details are below on their site. Please PM me with any questions or details! You NEED to sign up for this incredible trip. Volunteering trips give you such an intimate, personal connection to the destination and to cultures. It is untouchable. Trust me!

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