Ally’s Experience at Nong Tao
By Alejandra Castro, grade 11
We mainly had exchanges, so we weren’t at home most of the time. But the times that we were at home it was really nice because our mom was a teacher. She made us do zumba with her. That was funny. She played badminton with us, and she took us to school one day. She taught kindergarten.
We had lots of exchanges; the Royal Project, the National Park, and the Indigenous people were our main exchanges. We were getting perspectives on if rotational farming is good or not. Some people argued that it causes deforestation, but the indigenous people argued that it’s part of their tradition and isn’t harming the environment. Even though we had lots of long exchanges, I still enjoyed learning about the people’s culture and the way these organizations work.
By Hector Carrera, grade 11 and Abraham Sigala, grade 10
At first it was boring. We were just sitting through a presentation about how elephants have contributed to the world, but they weren’t treated right. They were used for logging, transporting trees down a river to Bangkok. The teachers went too, so they were asking all these questions. After the presentation, we created a medicine for the elephants. We got to crush the ingredients together and mixing them all together. Then we molded it into snack things. It was weird because it looked like poop. I forgot what the medicine was for, but it was medicine nonetheless.
Then we went to see a group of elephants and got to bathe them, Well we (Hector and Abraham) didn’t get to bathe them because we were on picture duty. We could have chosen to go, but we didn’t have extra clothes, and I (Hector) already bathed an elephant at my homestay in Nong Tao.
After bathing the elephants, we fed them bananas, sugar canes, and the medicine we made. Then we went to see a baby elephant in a cage just running around. At the end, we got a certificate made out of elephant dung. They make paper and other materials out of the poop there.