A UL nursing student recently spent two weeks in Thailand learning about Thai culture and volunteering with rescued elephants.
Jade Descant, 23, of Lafayette, traveled with Boston-based Loop Abroad, and was part of a small team that worked directly with rescued elephants at Elephant Nature Park in northern Thailand, according to a press release from Loop Abroad.
The Elephant Nature Park is home to more 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 learn about their life stories. The Elephant Nature Park is also home to more 400 dogs and 100 cats, as well as rabbits and water buffalo, the press release says.
During her time at the Elephant Nature Park, Descant 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, Descant explored all aspects of Thai culture, from meeting with Buddhist monks to visiting a hill tribe village to learning to cook Thai food.